Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I
254 — The Governor-General of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
The Governor-General of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
With reference to your telegram dated 8 November (No. 251) addressed to the High Commissioner for the United Kingdom in New Zealand, concerning the despatch to Crete of New Zealand and Australian troops.
It is understood by His Majesty's Government in New Zealand that the proposal to send these troops envisages using troops on a low scale of training equipment and partially trained to avoid breaking into the divisions being concentrated and trained in Egypt, and that the role envisaged in Crete is more or less that of garrison troops, and this could be carried out by reinforcements undergoing training. This is agreed to in principle by His Majesty's Government in New Zealand and they are prepared to allow units to be formed with their reinforcements, as and when they become available, to take over garrison duties in Crete while completing their training. This concurrence is subject always to the provision firstly, that the New Zealand troops selected should, in the opinion of the Officer Commanding the New Zealand force overseas, be sufficiently trained for the duties involved, and secondly, that their equipment would be fully adequate.
His Majesty's Government in New Zealand are still most anxious that the New Zealand Division, which is at present split into three parts, should be concentrated as soon as possible so that it is trained ready to operate early in 1941 as a complete division.1