Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
262 — The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs3
The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs3
Further to my telegram No. 539 of 20 December.4
1. All the field artillery mentioned therein has arrived at Fiji excepting 25-pounders, which will proceed immediately, together with four 3-inch anti-aircraft guns and six anti-aircraft searchlights. It has now been decided to despatch at the same time our only four Bofors guns. Reinforcements of 46 officers and 718 other ranks to complete the third battalion of 8 Brigade have also arrived at Fiji.
2. It has also been decided to despatch to Fiji forthwith approximately three officers and 600 men as further reinforcements, and 154 officers page 295 and 2900 men to raise the forces in Fiji to approximately eight battalions, also two 60-pounders and two 6-inch howitzers to cover the waters west of Nandi. A proposal to hold Vanua Levu with one of the eight battalions mentioned above and two additional 60-pounders is under consideration, but appears unlikely to eventuate as present information points to much larger forces than New Zealand can provide being necessary there to deny the various anchorages. The forces mentioned in this paragraph will proceed in two flights, commencing in a few days.
3. Transport vehicles to the limit of shipping space available have been and will be despatched from New Zealand, where impressment is in full operation.
4 Not published. This was the telegram referred to on p. 286, note 5.