Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I
119 — 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
Having regard to the imminent departure of the Second Echelon of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, for the safety of which until its arrival at its destination His Majesty's Government in New Zealand can by no means divest themselves of responsibility, and in view of your telegram of 29 April (No. 116) and of previous communications with reference to the possibility of Italian hostility, my Prime Minister would be glad to have at the very earliest possible moment any further information that may be available as to the possibility of hostile action by Italy during the succeeding month. He also requests from you an appreciation of the Italian forces that are now or might at the appropriate moment be available to attack the convoy en route to Egypt, and an intimation, in as detailed a form as possible, as to what steps His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom would propose to take, in the event of Italian hostility, to protect the convoy from attack by air or sea while en route. The page 93 Prime Minister would be grateful also for an indication of the probable steps that would be taken if the possibility of diversion is contemplated in these circumstances.