Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I
309 — The New Zealand Naval Board to the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board
The New Zealand Naval Board to the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board
His Majesty's Government in New Zealand have been asked by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom to send Forestry troops, twelve officers and 294 men, total 306, to the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom Government have proposed that the troops proceed in the Awatea or other suitable ship with US 4 as far as Fremantle, thence to Sierra Leone under escort of an armed merchant cruiser which is being transferred from China to the South Atlantic Station.
The New Zealand Government do not wish to employ the Awatea for this purpose as she is required to take the place of the Niagara, and because she has three times the amount of accommodation needed and would thus be wasteful.
It is possible to accommodate these troops in the existing ships of US 4.
The New Zealand Naval Board would be glad if you could say whether the troops could be trans-shipped at Fremantle to any vessel which may be proceeding under the escort of the armed merchant cruiser or whether a suitable vessel could be provided.