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

487 — The Prime Minister to General Freyberg (London)

page 517

The Prime Minister to General Freyberg (London)

31 August 1945

Reference my telegram of 30 August.

Owing to the great reluctance of the Government party to agree to the compulsory direction of men for the brigade group from Europe to Japan, I am compelled to ask you to give consideration again to the possibility of attaining 5000 volunteers for Japan in suitable units from all forces under your command, the period of service to be six months. The relief would be from volunteers in New Zealand, of whom 2500 could be trained in New Zealand during three months and be ready to leave New Zealand at the end of that period, if shipping would be available, for the purpose of replacing half the brigade group. Owing to the attitude of a very large minority of the Government party and the consequent great difficulties, I must ask you to explore every possibility of obtaining sufficient suitable volunteers, and would like you again to give the fullest consideration to the matter before a final decision is made either to direct compulsorily or to give instructions to call for volunteers. In the meantime until the matter is further considered and you receive final instructions, please do not take any action on my telegram [No. 486] sent earlier.