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

268 — The Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to the Prime Minister of New Zealand2

The Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to the Prime Minister of New Zealand2

5 April 1942

In connection with arrangements for the despatch of United States forces to Tongatabu, Admiral King has asked the Joint Staff Mission, Washington, for authority for the United States Forces to use any Pacific island under United Kingdom or Dominion control without prior notification as may be required by the exigencies of war. He points to security objections to disseminating prior information of movements to the number of persons necessarily concerned if the normal procedure were followed.

2. In respect of Pacific islands under United Kingdom administration, we are prepared for our own part to agree to entry without prior notification when United States authorities consider this essential, on the understanding that whenever possible prior notification will be given. The reply would explain that this is thought desirable not only for formal reasons, but also because it may in certain cases be expedient that prior arrangements should be made for the reception of United States forces, and that we assume that the new procedure would not affect any existing arrangements for the United States authorities to notify local service authorities.

3. We would be glad to know whether the Commonwealth Government and the New Zealand Government concur in a reply on these lines.3

4. It is assumed that a reply in respect of the islands under the Australian and New Zealand Administrations will be sent direct.

2 Repeated to the Prime Minister of Australia.