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

398 — Letter from the acting Prime Minister1 to Major-General Barrowclough

page 413

Letter from the acting Prime Minister1 to Major-General Barrowclough

20 October 1943

My Dear General Barrowclough


In the absence of the Prime Minister, who has been indisposed for some days, I am acknowledging your letter to him dated 6 October [No. 394] and conveyed by Colonel McKillop. I should add that Colonel McKillop saw me immediately on his return and gave me a full account of his visit.

I have also had the advantage of recent discussions with General Lethbridge2 who was most favourably impressed with what he saw and heard of your Division.

I note what you say concerning the uncertainty as to the future use of the 3rd Division. We are at present making another examination of the manpower problem which is becoming more and more acute. We are at the present moment experiencing some difficulty in providing men to make up the return furlough party to the Middle East and until we know the complete number of exemptions on appeal and of those rejected on medical grounds it will not be possible to assess how many Grade A men there are likely to be left in the pool at the end of the year. On present indications, and in view of the urgent needs of the Air Force, the number is likely to be very few. I can assure you that your needs are very much in our minds, but for the time being I cannot add to the information you already have on this question.

May I take this opportunity of expressing on behalf of War Cabinet and the Government, and on my own behalf, sincere congratulations on the splendid performance of your troops in eliminating the Japanese from Vella Lavella, and of wishing you all success in the very difficult tasks which lie ahead of you.

Kind regards,
Yours sincerely


(Sgd) W. Nash


for the Prime Minister

1 Hon. W. Nash. Mr Nash returned to New Zealand from Washington for the period April – December 1943.

2 Maj-Gen J. S. Lethbridge, CB, CBE, MC, was in charge of a military mission despatched by the United Kingdom Chiefs of Staff to the Pacific and Indian theatres.