211 Mr P. Fraser, N.Z. Prime Minister, to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram unnumbered WELLINGTON, 5 May 1940, 8 p.m.

We have now given preliminary consideration to the Secretary of State's Most Secret telegram 130 (Australia 138) of 4th May. [1] We find some difficulty in reconciling the statement contained in the Secretary of State's telegram 122 (Australia 129) of 30th April [2] that 'unless the situation shows marked improvement' convoys U.S.2 and U.S.3 should be diverted, with the recommendation contained in paragraph 16 of telegram now under consideration that 'in the present circumstances diversion is unnecessary and that the convoys should adhere to their programme'. We are, however,. content for our part to allow the convoy U.S.3 to proceed as originally arranged subject- (1) to our being kept most closely informed as to developments as they occur;

(2) to decision as to ultimate destination being made by His Majesty's Government in New Zealand after considering the views of the Admiralty and of His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom and to our being given an opportunity at the appropriate time of making that decision with the full facts then available;

(3) to our being satisfied as to the adequacy of the escort proposed in the case of diversion from Capetown onward, as to which we are at present not without some doubt.

Before advising His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom to the above effect we should be glad to have the views of His Majesty's Government in the Commonwealth of Australia. [3]

1 Document 210.

2 Document 190.

3 On 6 May 1940 the New Zealand Govt was advised that its cablegram would be considered by War Cabinet and a further communication sent as soon as possible (see unnumbered cablegram in series FA: A3196, 0.2750). On 8 May the New Zealand Govt requested a very early reply (see unnumbered cablegram on file AA:

CP290/6, 33). The reply was sent the same day (see Document 215, note 4).

[FA: A3195, 1.2991]