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Parliamentary Reporter WELLINGTON, this day. Proposals for New Zealand to be included in the British Commonwealth land force in Pacific operations were outlined by the Prime Minister, Mr. Fraser, during the debate on New Zealand's war effort. Mr. Fraser said Mr. Churchill had assumed, rightly, from Parliament's resolutions and documents that reached him that New Zealand would want to remain as an integral part of the forces against Japan. When in Britain he interviewed the Chief of the General Staff (Sir Alan Brooke) and asked what force would be of service, at the same time telling him that New Zealand could not maintain her division at full strength, keep tip her naval and Air Forces and also keep production going, particularly of food. He told Sir Alan that a three-brigade division could not be maintained on the Dominion's manpower figures and asked whether a two-brigade division would be acceptable. He pointed out that General Freyberg had expressed grave misgivings about what would happen if the division was reduced to two brigades. Sir Alan expressed the opinion that a two-brigade division could be used effectively, but that would be the smallest unit that could keep its identity, fighting under a New Zealand commander and acting on New Zealand directive.

In due course an appreciation of the question arrived from the Chief of Staff and was thoroughly discussed by the two Cabinets, but another message arrived from Mr. Churchill with a new conception. The Prime Minister explained that Mr. Churchill's message stated that a British Commonwealth land force was contemplated and again Mr. Churchill assumed that New Zealand, as a Pacific country whose future was at stake, would wish to participate. Again it was mentioned that a two-Drigade division from New Zealand, with headquarters and communications, would be an adequate force for the Dominion to send. That was the problem with which the two Cabinets had to grapple in the face of the other difficulties created by the war. The question of how far New Zealand could go to meet the request, first on the part of Mr. Churchill and the General Staff and the British War Cabinet and now on the part of those who met at Berlin—Mr. Attlee had sent word to say that the British Commonwealth land force had been approved —had to be considered. Mr. Fraser said that was for New Zealand to say. He did not doubt for a single moment what the answer would be, for if a British Commonwealth land force was established no one would say that New Zealand could be absent. What New Zealand could contribute was the matter for consideration and discussion. Up to the present the United Kingdom and Australia had decided to be represented and he expected that Canada and South Africa would also be represented. New Zealand could not be out of such, a force and live up to her reputation and pledges.

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COMBINED FORCE, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 182, 3 August 1945

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COMBINED FORCE Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 182, 3 August 1945

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