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

162 — The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs1

The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs1

19 March 1942

Following from Prime Minister for Prime Minister:

Your telegrams of 17 March [Nos. 160 and 161]. We have noted with great interest your communications with President Roosevelt on the establishment of unified control for the conduct of the war in the

1 Repeated to the Prime Minister of Australia and the New Zealand Minister, Washington.

page 176 Pacific, in the Indian Ocean, and in the Atlantic. We are entirely in accord with the proposals and also with the appointment of General MacArthur1 as Supreme Commander of the Pacific area, of which we have learnt (though we have not been informed) from broadcast and press sources.

2. There are a number of matters of detail on which we are not as yet clear and on which it might be desirable or necessary to comment in due course. To enter into such matters at the present moment, however, would seem to us to be inappropriate, and at the moment it seems adequate to say that we are prepared to accept the scheme as outlined in general principle by yourself and President Roosevelt and, for our part, to do our utmost to ensure its efficient operation.

3. We trust, however, that the close collaboration between Australia and New Zealand which has recently been agreed upon between the Australian and New Zealand Governments will not be weakened, and that if the Supreme Commander should leave the Anzac area an effective co-ordinating staff will be retained.

4. Believe me also, we warmly appreciate and greatly value the assurance contained in the second paragraph of your telegram [No. 160].

1 General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Commander-in-Chief United States Forces in the Philippines, 1941–42; Supreme Commander Allied Forces, South-West Pacific Area, 1942–45; C-in-C Far East and Supreme Commander for Allied Powers in Japan, 1945–51; Commander-in-Chief United Nations Forces in Korea, 1950–51.