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Royal New Zealand Air Force



The basis on which New Zealand was to obtain equipment from America was regularised in the latter part of 1942. On 3 September a Mutual Aid Agreement, commonly known as the Lend-Lease Agreement, was signed in Washington by the United States Secretary of State, Mr Cordell Hull, and the New Zealand Minister, Mr Nash. It was similar to one previously concluded by the United States and the United Kingdom in February and stated more specifically what had previously been agreed upon by all the Allies in a United Nations Declaration signed in January. The Mutual Aid Agreement pledged the contracting parties to employ their full resources, military and economic, against those nations with which they were at war.

It recognised that:

In the prosecution of their common war undertaking … the war production and war resources of both nations should be used by each in the ways which most effectively utilise available materials, manpower, production facilities and shipping space.

The aim of the Agreement was that:

As large a portion as possible of the articles and services to be provided by each Government to the other shall be in the form of reciprocal aid so that the need of each Government for the currency of the other may be reduced to a minimum.

An RNZAF Equipment Liaison Office was established in Washington to which all demands for Air Force equipment were forwarded. Requests for equipment from Britain were forwarded from there to the New Zealand Liaison Officer in London. Those for American equipment were submitted to the Munitions Assignment Committee in Washington.