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Historical documents

335 Mr M. J. Savage, N.Z. Prime Minister, to Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister

Cablegram unnumbered WELLINGTON, 22 December 1938


With reference to my secret letter of 19th May, 1938, referring to
the suggestion to hold a conference on the Pacific Islands matter,
and your secret letter Z.15/1/1 undated in reply thereto [1], the
New Zealand Government have now received a secret telegram from
His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom agreeing to the
conference and signifying that they would be agreeable for it to
be held in New Zealand if such a suggestion commended itself to
Commonwealth and New Zealand Governments. In replying thereto New
Zealand Government have stated that they would be quite willing
for the Conference to be held here but that they think the scope
thereof should now be enlarged to include the whole strategic
situation in the Western Pacific including discussion on such
matters as the arrival of the British naval forces at Singapore.

The New Zealand Government have also intimated that they think the
Conference should be held as early a date as is possible, the
governing factor probably being the time at which British
representatives could arrive. I would suggest that it would be a
natural feature of the Conference to discuss closer liaison
between Australia and New Zealand as indicated in my secret
despatch of September 23 of this year. [2] I would now be glad of
your comments on the proposal to hold the Conference in New
Zealand and to enlarge its scope. Presumably you will also advise
His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom of your views.


1 These letters have not been found. Z15/1/1 was a Prime
Minister's Department file entitled 'Defence of Pacific islands',
which has not been located.

2 Document 298.

[AA : A981, PACIFIC i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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