Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume II
475 — The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of New Zealand to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Our inability to obtain any indication of the plans of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom for the provision of shipping for the return of New Zealand personnel in the Middle East who are now awaiting repatriation to New Zealand, is causing my colleagues and I much concern. One vessel is already en route to New Zealand and we understand that another ship is projected to leave in September. We are being embarrassed by the present uncertainty, not only as a result of feelings among relatives, but also in view of the persistent and reasonable demands on the part of food production, rehabilitation, and other most essential industries for skilled labour, large elements of which are included amongst all groups of the men at present awaiting return. We trust that for these reasons, and for those advanced in my telegram of 4 August to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs (No. 471), early and adequate shipping can be provided. An immediate indication of the plans for the return of the personnel now awaiting transport in Egypt and Italy would be welcomed.