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

353 — The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Governor of Fiji2

The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Governor of Fiji2

13 May 1943

It would be appreciated if you could advise me whether the Fiji authorities contemplate making any arrangements in respect of raising Fiji forces for service with the New Zealand 3rd Division.3

2 Maj-Gen Sir Philip Mitchell.

3 A proposal that the three battalions of the Fijian Brigade should form part of the 3rd NZ Division had been the subject of several telegrams and letters between General Puttick and General Barrowclough. Brigadier Stewart visited Fiji early in May to discuss the proposal with Sir Philip Mitchell and Brigadier J. G. C. Wales, Commandant of the Fiji Military Forces. The Governor's reply to No. 353 advised that his views were contained in a memorandum on the administration of the Fiji Military Forces, then on its way to New Zealand by mail. This memorandum stated that the Government of Fiji was prepared to place the Fiji Military Forces under the general military control of the New Zealand General Staff and to agree to their incorporation in a New Zealand division or other British formation; Fiji also asked that its Mobile Brigade Group should be employed on active operations against the enemy ‘within or without the ‘Pacific’. These proposals were approved by War Cabinet on 25 May.