Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume II
306 — The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
We are much embarrassed as a Government by the lack of any direct information about the fighting in which the 2nd New Zealand Division is engaged in Italy. In some measure this lack of official page 276 news is presumably due to the fact that General Eisenhower's headquarters are responsible for the issue of communiques and there is no direct contact between him and this Government.
General Freyberg is of course fully occupied in the conduct of the operations of his Division and cannot, in any case, supply the wider appreciations which would give the Government an adequate account of the progress of the campaign. Headquarters 2nd NZEF are, however, being requested to supply what they can.1
Representations to General Eisenhower or General Alexander for regular and up-to-date information would be greatly appreciated, as would any arrangements His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom could make to amplify the information contained in the daily war telegrams and those from the War Office to the Chief of the General Staff.
1 A telegram on 4 Dec from Army Headquarters to Brigadier Stevens advised that the Prime Minister was disturbed by the lack of news of the Division. ‘We get daily war messages from the Dominions Office and reports from War Office, but these are very meagre and unsatisfying to the Prime Minister,’ the telegram ran. ‘He has asked the Dominions Office for fuller reports and has stated that we are asking you to furnish reports also. The Prime Minister realises that the GOC is very busy and unable to supply frequent reports and that there may be restrictions by the Higher Command, but … he is naturally anxiously awaiting an interim report.’