196 Mr P. Fraser, N.Z. Prime Minister, to Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister

Cablegram unnumbered WELLINGTON, 2 May 1940, 12.28 a.m.


Thanks your two telegrams of 1st May. [1] The following telegram has been sent tonight to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs- 148. MOST SECRET.

His Majesty's Government in New Zealand agree with the suggestion contained in your Most Secret telegram 122 of 30th April [2] that the Second Echelon of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force should, if circumstances require it, be diverted to the United Kingdom.

They have, however, seen telegram No. 192, addressed to you by the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia [3], and, having regard to the point of view taken by His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia, and the embarrassment which would result were Australia to take one course and New Zealand another, they would appreciate an expression, at the earliest possible moment tomorrow morning, New Zealand time, of the opinion and advice of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. In the meantime and pending the receipt of a reply to this telegram when they will decide the course they intend to adopt, His Majesty's Government in New Zealand have determined not to alter the arrangements for embarkation of the Second Echelon (which is now taking place) or its departure tomorrow. They would also be greatly assisted in making their decision if they could be informed of the details of the escort proposed in the case of diversion, and furnished with the most explicit assurances that the safety of the convoy is fully assured.

This telegram is being repeated to the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia.

1 The first of these cablegrams is printed as Document 191. The second is listed in the Prime Minister's Dept outward cable register (FA: A3637) as dealing with convoy U.S.3, but no copy has been found.

2 Document 190.

3 Document 191.

[FA: A3195, 1.2875]