Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
457 — The acting Prime Minister to General Freyberg
The acting Prime Minister to General Freyberg
Following is the text of a message dated 26 June from the Governor of Fiji to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, repeated to us for information, regarding the suggested employment of the Fiji Brigade with any New Zealand land force:
Employment of Fijian Troops
‘1. I am agreeable to the new proposal and prefer it to the proposal now under consideration that the troops should be under Australian command, because of the previous association of Fijian troops with the New Zealand Army and the fact that there are a substantial number of New Zealand personnel in the Fijian forces.
‘2. At this stage I have the following comments:
The Fijian troops should be employed as an infantry brigade. The first sentence of paragraph 3 of the telegram under reference [No. 456] seems to indicate that the Brigade may be split up, and I would not advise this.
The following Fijian units are available: Infantry Brigade Headquarters, with defence platoon and brigade section of Divisional Signals; three battalions; Brigade mobile workshops; detachment of Army Service Corps; bearer and nursing orderly sections. Reinforcements for 1946 can be found.
Engineers will not be available because they are already earmarked for Ocean and Nauru. See my telegram No. 90 of 27 April 1944.2 Also, I could not supply divisional defence and employment companies and/or defence platoons for New Zealand brigades.
‘3. I assume that New Zealand is keeping Australia informed.’
The Commonwealth authorities, who had earlier accepted the use of this force, but only on the understanding that shipping would be provided from other than Australian resources, have been informed of the position and their agreement invited to the use of the Fiji Brigade with any New Zealand force.3 You will be kept informed of developments.
1 Not published.
2 Not published.