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Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I

49 — The Prime Minister to the Hon. P. Fraser — [Extract]

The Prime Minister to the Hon. P. Fraser

18 November 1939

In accordance with the advice contained in your telegram of 17 November (No. 48) a telegram will be sent on Monday direct to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom informing him of the decision to send the First Echelon overseas, and requesting that no publicity should be given in the United Kingdom until the decision has been announced in New Zealand. We will arrange to advise him of the time of announcement here. It is hoped that a public announcement can be made either over the air on Tuesday evening at seven o'clock or in the evening press of the same day….2

page 41

Arrangements to fit up all the transports in the United Kingdom would be most convenient and helpful to us, but if this cannot be done we must be advised at once so that we may advance arrangements here. It is possible that the Admiralty Sea Transport Regulation Standards may not be entirely acceptable and a committee here is examining this question.1

1 In point of fact they were not acceptable, and the New Zealand Government requested that additional shower and sanitary facilities be provided.