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

207 — The New Zealand Minister, Washington, to the Prime Minister

The New Zealand Minister, Washington, to the Prime Minister

7 March 1942

In order to assist the Combined Chiefs of Staff to estimate the degree of support, both in military formations and in weapons, required in the defence of Australia and New Zealand, it will be necessary for us to give them the latest appreciation of the defence problems of the Dominion.

The New Zealand Service representatives in Washington, in collaboration with the British Joint Planners, have been instructed to obtain the following information as quickly as possible:


A brief appreciation of the land and air defence problems of New Zealand, with an estimate of the land and air force facilities and equipment required to meet the new situation.


A statement of the facilities and equipment of the land and air forces at present available.


A summary of the steps now being taken within the Dominion to increase their security, e.g., raising and equipping new formations and increasing weapon production. This to include page 235 equipment already ordered from the United Kingdom or the United States of America; estimates of the state of readiness of the armed forces should be given for 30 June and 31 December 1942.


A statement in order of priority of requirements in land and air reinforcements and in equipment which the Dominion considers should be provided from outside sources.

You have already supplied a very comprehensive list of equipment required, and a copy of this cable has been made available to the Combined Chiefs of Staff, but it would be helpful if in your reply you set out the major types of equipment that would meet the most urgent and immediate needs.