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

479 — The Prime Minister to General Freyberg (London)

page 513

The Prime Minister to General Freyberg (London)

21 August 1945

Your telegram of 16 August [No. 477].

War Cabinet have considered the request from the United Kingdom Government that a New Zealand brigade group should be made available with other British Commonwealth forces to take part in the occupation of Japan. While agreeing in principle, it is felt that before coming to a final decision your advice should be sought as to whether or not it would be possible to obtain a properly balanced brigade group of 5000 all ranks from volunteers drawn from the single men at present in the Middle East in the 11th to 15th Reinforcements.

It is also proposed, in the event of such a volunteer force being made available, that the strength of the brigade group should be ‘turned over’ in a period of twelve months by providing from New Zealand on a volunteer basis at quarterly intervals replacement drafts of 1250 men, and that the men in the force with the longest service should be returned to New Zealand first. Future replacements would not be effected under a period of six months. I would be grateful for your earliest comments.