Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume II

78 — The acting Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs3 — [Extract]

The acting Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs3

4 September 1941

After full consultation with their Military Adviser, General Sir Guy Williams, His Majesty's Government in New Zealand have page 58 now given careful consideration to FFC 36. Arising from these proposals and the recommendations of General Williams, it has been decided to make provision, in addition to this Dominion's existing manpower commitments, for an additional 3500 men for an Army Tank Brigade, plus an additional 2000 men for Corps and Line of Communication troops….1 The provision of the rest of the proposals of FFC 36 is still under consideration.

The Home Defence forces here are being reorganised and brought up to the standard of overseas troops, with a view to providing one force from which reinforcements for overseas can be obtained and, at the same time, a more adequately trained and organised body for the defence of the Dominion. In view of the heavy manpower commitments, which are proving and will increasingly prove a very heavy strain on the resources of the Dominion, and the complete inadequacy of the present fighting and training equipment in this country, His Majesty's Government in New Zealand lay particular emphasis on the defence equipment required. It is desired to stress also that, unlike the other Dominions, New Zealand is unable to manufacture essential arms for its own use and therefore is dependent almost entirely on overseas sources for these defence needs. Furthermore, in order that the troops proceeding overseas will be trained with the same type of fighting equipment as will be made available to them on arrival overseas, New Zealand's immediate training programme requires modern equipment. For these reasons, and most particularly because of the existing great scarcity of fighting equipment in the country, His Majesty's Government in New Zealand press strongly for the earliest priority in the undermentioned items of equipment already on order. The figures quoted are inclusive of all equipment already approved for release.

Rifles and bayonets 38,000
Anti-tank rifles 582
Bren guns 2500
Two-pounder or six-pounder anti-tank guns, latter preferred 48
Bofors guns 64
3.7-inch anti-aircraft guns 16
Light tanks, for preference US Pattern M.3- 12½ ton 170
6-inch guns for fixed defences (with agreed scale of ammunition for artillery weapons) 10

3 Viscount Cranborne.

1 The text omitted contained details of these proposals in terms of FFC 36, giving the serial numbers of each unit and the dates at which they would be ready to go overseas.