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Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume II

74 — The acting Prime Minister to the Rt. Hon. P. Fraser (London)

The acting Prime Minister to the Rt. Hon. P. Fraser (London)

9 July 1941

This morning War Cabinet had a discussion with General Williams, who impressed us as being very sound and most helpful. However, his proposals raise real difficulties in regard to manpower. To give effect either to the proposals to provide Corps or Line of Communication troops for overseas or to his proposals for the Territorial Force would involve calling up married men by September this year. We feel there are sound reasons, both practical and political, why this step should not be taken for the present.

It is felt, however, that we should form the Army Tank Brigade to be trained in New Zealand, and we are now awaiting a reply from Freyberg to the telegram which I repeated to you today.2 It may of course be necessary to talk further about reinforcements, but this should not affect the main decision, which is well within our commitment under the old scale. It is suggested that you discuss immediately with the War Office the question of releasing the equipment for training the Army Tank Brigade. I understand that a list of this equipment was given to you in Egypt by General Williams.