Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
370 — Army Headquarters (Wellington) to Headquarters, Fiji Military Forces
Army Headquarters (Wellington) to Headquarters, Fiji Military Forces
In accordance with the wishes of the Governor as contained in paragraph 4 (i) and (ii) of his memorandum on the administration page 392 of the Fiji Military Forces,1 Army Headquarters took up with comsopac the question of incorporating the Fiji Brigade in the 3rd New Zealand Division. For the reasons that the garrison of Fiji must ‘remain at certain strength’ and ‘such use would deprive us of the free use of Fijian troops now employed as scouts and raiders in the Solomons’, comsopac refused. On further representation comsopac agreed to one Fiji battalion now in Fiji joining the 3rd Division as a scouting and raiding unit. The 1st Fiji Battalion and the Commando now in the Solomons will remain under American command. Please submit to the Governor and obtain his approval to one battalion now in Fiji joining the 3rd Division at an early date and report his decision, including the name of the battalion selected, by immediate signal.
1 Paragraph 4 read:
‘Accordingly, subject to the agreement cited above, which vests the operational control of the local forces, whilst employed in Fiji, in the Commanding General, and to the authority given to the Governor by the Secretary of State for the raising and equipment of a Mobile Brigade Group and certain Base Units, the Government of Fiji records its views as follows:
It is 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, since by personnel, training and equipment they are well suited to such an arrangement.
It desires that the Mobile Brigade Group should be employed on active operations against the enemy anywhere, within or without the Pacific. It follows from (i) above that this is a military question for decision between the New Zealand General Staff and the U.S. Commander of the South Pacific.
It follows also from (i) above that the organisation, training and employment of the F.M.F. are technical military questions for decision between the Chief of the General Staff in New Zealand and the U.S. Commander, South Pacific.’