393 Mr R.G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Mr M.J. Savage, N.Z. Prime Minister

Cablegram unnumbered 28 November 1939,

I acknowledge with thanks advice contained in your cablegram of 22nd November [1] and fully appreciate that course of action is entirely matter for your Government. In view, however, of principles (i) and (v) proposed in your letter of 23rd September, 1938 [2], and concurred in by one of my predecessors [3] for exchange of decisions on defence policy and for mutual advice of fullest possible information in time of war I regret earlier consultation was not possible. My Government is of view that further clarification of situation in regard to Holland and possible local training of our forces affords period for this without prejudicing our strength here or later co-operation when forces are ready to take field.

I am announcing to House tomorrow that our Special Division, which was raised for service at home or abroad as occasion might require or permit, will proceed overseas when it has reached a suitable stage in its training. It is anticipated this will be early in New Year. After further training overseas it should be able to take its place in a theatre of war in European Spring.

It has been suggested to Casey that he consult with United Kingdom Government and your representative regarding co-ordination of shipping requirements for our Force with New Zealand arrangements.

[4]

MENZIES

1 Document 380.

2 Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. 1, Document 298.

3 See Document 35.

4 See Document 392.

[AA: A1608, B45/2/1]