Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume I
149 — The Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to the Governor-General of New Zealand
The Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to the Governor-General of New Zealand
With reference to your telegrams of 16 May (No. 144) and 17 May (No. 147). Consideration has been given to the possibility of utilising the Orcades and Strathnaver, but it is regretted that they cannot be made available as they are required for other urgent war purposes. No other suitable vessels are available at present, or could be made available within a reasonable period, without serious interference with war requirements. It is not felt that the arrangement described in my telegram (No. 140) would involve appreciable discomfort, and it is also considered that the conditions on board will be entirely suitable and healthy. Adequate water will be available for the increased numbers, and additional life-saving appliances will be put on board at Capetown. In the past some of the vessels have carried considerably larger numbers of troops than those now proposed. Having regard to the present most difficult shipping situation, we very much hope that, in the circumstances, the Commonwealth and New Zealand Governments will agree to the course proposed.