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

134 — The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Hon. W. Nash, c/o New Zealand Supply Mission (Ottawa)2

The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Hon. W. Nash, c/o New Zealand Supply Mission (Ottawa)2

5 February 1942

1. Churchill has informed us that President Roosevelt and his advisers are not in favour of the location of the Far East Council in Washington, and we understand that this is the view of the Netherlands Government also. It seems practically certain now that the Far East Council, with representatives of Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands, will be located in London, while in Washington the military representatives of members of the Far East Council will be page 147 called into consultation on the Staff plane with the British and United States Staffs on such matters as involve their local interests. This will involve consideration of:


representation in London


on the Far East Council,


on the War Cabinet, and,


on the Staff plane; and also,


Strengthening of Staff representation in Washington in order to meet British and United States Staff representatives on as equal a footing as possible.

The Washington Staff proposals are not without difficulty in view of the requirement laid down, which is, of course, not unreasonable, that decisions must be immediate and therefore reference to Governments for formal consent will not be possible, while at the same time stress is laid on the fact that the views of the respective representatives on the Far East Council in London and in the Staff talks in Washington must not differ.

2. With all the difficulties inherent in the proposals as now put forward, we feel that we can carry the matter no further and that we are bound to accept them. My immediately following telegram contains the text of a message sent to Churchill today.

3. I shall be very grateful for an urgent expression of your views generally and particularly on representation, both political and military, both in London and Washington.

2 The delegation for the New Zealand Supply Mission arrived in Washington on 24 May 1941 and offices were established at Washington, New York and Ottawa.