Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
310 — The Governor-General of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs3 — [Extract]
The Governor-General of New Zealand to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs3
… His Majesty's Government in New Zealand have been considering certain aspects of the defence situation. They would be grateful for the views of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom on the following points….page 337
In view of the world situation and with particular reference to the importance of the trans-Pacific cable,1 would it be desirable to despatch to Fanning Island immediately the force already agreed to? It appears to His Majesty's Government in New Zealand that it would be exceedingly dangerous, if not impossible, to despatch a force after the outbreak of a war in which Japan was involved, as no adequate escort can be made available and as enemy forces may reasonably be expected to be in position on the outbreak of war. On the other hand, it might be undesirable to take such open action in peace….2
3 Viscount Caldecote (at this date Sir Thomas Inskip).
1 That the Germans appreciated the importance of the Fanning Island cable station in the 1914–18 war is shown by the promptness with which the German cruiser Nurnberg proceeded to the island after the outbreak of war and severed the cable on 7 Sep 1914. On 8 December of the same year the Nurnberg was sunk by HMS Kent in the battle of the Falkland Islands.