310 Blamey to Forde

Letter (extract) HEADQUARTERS, ALLIED LAND FORCES, SOUTHWEST

PACIFIC AREA, 4 October 1944

TOP SECRET

[matter omitted]

I spoke to the Prime Minister about the desirability of having military representation at talks in New Zealand. [1] Colonel Conlon [2] is au fait with the Army point of view in this matter completely. If the Government thinks it desirable to have any military adviser there, I suggest that Brigadier Thompson of the General Staff at Army Headquarters might accompany the Australian delegation. [3]

Militarily, of course, New Zealand is of very little real interest to Australia. On the other hand, Australia is of the very greatest interest to New Zealand from the military point of view. As long as Australia is safe, New Zealand is completely safe in the present world set up, so that any Australian military commitments should be solely designed to Australian requirements, without any consideration to New Zealand's position at all. In my view, the commitment by Australia to any military protective requirements should be most carefully approached and we should not even inform New Zealand of our views on this question at present, until we have finally decided our own preparedness to commit ourselves in the future.

From the Army point of view, Colonel Conlon has been dealing with all the various matters and as I understand that Mr. Ward is going with the delegation, I presume it will deal with the question of administration of the island territories. I would suggest, therefore, that you consider including Colonel Conlon in the delegation, as he is very well informed on our position in this matter.

T. A. BLAMEY

1 See Document 309.

2 Director of the Directorate of Research and Civil Affairs.

3 It was decided subsequently that, as discussions were intended to be political rather than technical, the attendance of military advisers would be unnecessary. See Wilson's message SS5851 of 24 October to Secretaries of Service Depts (on file AA:A5954, box 294)and Document 322.

[AA:A5954, BOX 294]