Documents Relating to New Zealand's Participation in the Second World War 1939–45: Volume III
311 — The Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to the Governor-General of New Zealand — [Extract]
The Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs to the Governor-General of New Zealand
Your telegram of 3 February….
We agree that for the reasons indicated it would be undesirable to defer the despatch of the force to Fanning Island until after an outbreak of war. We feel, however, that having regard to the difficulties involved in placing a garrison on the island in peacetime (including lack of accommodation and supplies) it would not be advisable to despatch this force at the present time. In order to avoid delay if the necessity for its despatch should arise, we suggest that the best course would be for His Majesty's Government in New Zealand to make as complete a plan as possible for operation and to collect and earmark all stores, supplies, ammunition, etc., which would be required. It would then be possible, if at any time in the opinion of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom the occasion had arisen for the despatch of the force, for them to inform His Majesty's Government in New Zealand immediately. For this purpose would it be possible to let us have the length of time which might be expected to elapse between receipt by the New Zealand Government of such information and the sailing of the force? …3