MEN IN MIDDLE EAST
STATEMENT AGAIN SOUGHT Parliamentary Reporter. WELLINGTON, this day. What was the Government's intention in regard to the men in the Middle East—what was to be the fate of that forgotten army? asked Mr. Doidge (Nat., Tauranga) in the House of Representatives last evening. He also sought the reason for the Government's delay in making an announcement. It was true to say, he said, that thousands of homes in New Zealand were in a state of tension because mothers, wives and sweethearts did not know what the fate of their boys was to be. English, Canadian and South African troops were all going home, or if they were not they knew where they were going. Britain had declared her policy long ago. The Minister of Rehabilitation, Mr. Skinner: Nothing of the kind. Mr. Doidge added that the New Zealand forces seemed to have been forgotten. Was the Division intended to be for garrison duty somewhere, or was it a shipping problem? Perhaps one day New Zealand would wake up and find its men were in Shanghai. Mr. Churchill had always told the people of Britain the truth, and that attitude had paid high dividends by creating confidence. The Dominion's policy had to be either fight or farm —it could not do both effectively. The Government should dispel rumours which suggested sinister and, perhaps, foolish reasons why the Division was not brought home, such as the absence of homes and jobs. . .„ .
If New Zealand were asked' , to send a land force to a new theatre of war it would do so, but that was no reason for not bringing the men in the Middle East home. Some of them were married men with children. Others had gone straight from school and had never had a chance to learn a trade. If a land force were required there were 20,000 fit men who had never been in uniform from whom a selection could be made.
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"FORGOTTEN ARMY", Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 173, 24 July 1945
"FORGOTTEN ARMY" Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 173, 24 July 1945
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