Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume II
257 — General Freyberg to the Prime Minister
General Freyberg to the Prime Minister
Mr. Jones left us yesterday morning after spending four days with us. Very opportunely, our brigades were withdrawn from the line for a short rest while he was here, and he has been able to go round most units and talk to the men. He saw them, of course, in adverse conditions, very tired from the difficult operation, but there is no doubt that his coming to the forward areas to see them was greatly appreciated. He was also able to go round in a tank and see part of the front, including the fortress village of Takrouna.
The lull in operations gave the opportunity for several long talks with Mr. Jones. I was able to give him details of the administrative layout, medical services, amenities, &c., and we also discussed policy questions, including the question of the return of long-service personnel, which was the subject of a telegram to you.1 It has been the greatest help to have been able to discuss these very important matters together, and I cannot say how glad I am that he was able to visit us here.
Mr. Jones called on General Alexander on the way over and saw General Montgomery here. He goes now by air to Tripoli to see our hospital and Advanced Base, then to Benghazi to see the units there, and so back to Cairo.
There is no doubt that this visit has been of the greatest assistance to me, and I have been able to put him in the whole picture in a way that would not have been possible by letter or cable.
I feel certain that Mr. Jones was satisfied with all he saw during his careful inspection of the 2nd NZEF in the Middle East.