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

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

page 329

The New Zealand Minister, Washington, to the Prime Minister

9 June 1942

I have just returned from Admiral King after delivering the message in your telegram [No. 297].

Without waiting to draft a written reply he asked me to convey to you his personal thanks and appreciation of the co-operative spirit of yourself and the Government. The message was particularly helpful, so he said, in that it unmistakably conveyed to him the fact that the New Zealand Government had a complete understanding of the importance of his strategic plans for holding Fiji and other strong points to the north of New Zealand.

I emphasised that you would at all times co-operate in any plans that would achieve our mutual objective and asked if any action of the New Zealand Government or anything in the directives were in any way limiting him in his plans. He said ‘No’ but, reiterating his suggestion of yesterday, he felt that New Zealand should train an amphibious force to take part with America when the time for offensive action came.1 I mentioned that your exclusive desire, in addition to providing for the security of the Dominion, was to use the whole of the Dominion's resources—air, naval and army—in the way that he considered would most effectively assist in defeating [group omitted—the Axis?] powers.

King said he would consult with the United States Chiefs of Staff and would then communicate with me.

As soon as I hear from him I will advise you.

1 See Formation and Employment of 3rd NZ Division, p. 349 ff.

No previous reference to this suggestion by Admiral King can be found in any of Mr Nash's telegrams during the preceding few days.