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Historical documents

285 Fraser to Chifley

Cablegram 75 WELLINGTON, 11 June 1949, 11.3 8 a.m.


After considering the communication received from the United
Kingdom regarding the organising of the defences of Hongkong [1]
the New Zealand Cabinet are prepared to offer the use of three
frigates and will consider the possibility of providing air units.

It seems to us most desirable and in fact essential in our own
interests in the Pacific and the Far East that Hongkong should not
be allowed to fall to any attack by the Chinese Communists.

We feel that the successful organisation of the defences of the
island or at any rate sufficient show of strength and
determination may very well prevent any such attack. For these
reasons I entirely agree with the decision taken by the United
Kingdom to make of Hongkong the point where they would resist
Communist aggression in the Far East and we are prepared
therefore, within the limits of our resources to give what
assistance we can.

While we fully appreciate the desirability of avoiding publicity
it is obviously impossible in peace time for a Dominion Government
to suppress or deny information as to its participation in a
situation like this. We have to answer questions in Parliament and
any movement of personnel must immediately become known to the

The form and timing of any announcement must, however, be given
the most careful consideration in consultation with the United
Kingdom and yourselves. Moreover, we would not wish to state
publicly what we are doing until we had ascertained what your own
intentions were.

I shall be grateful for early advice.

1 Document 282.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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