The Minister in Australia (Johnson) to the Secretary of State
[Received 11:34 a.m.]
66. Department’s 48, October 17 .14 Cox informs me New Zealand Prime Minister replying to proposal contained Department’s 47, October 15, states New Zealand “will be most happy to do anything within their power to further the project and will be glad to learn in due course of any concrete steps which it is considered they might usefully take in this direction.”
They confirm availability road making equipment. State that construction of airdrome in western Samoa still in early stages but would be willing to expedite work should course be desirable. Believe if work commenced at once one strip could be made ready by July next. Also state strip could be made available for landing at Christmas Island by next March while extensions at Fiji could be completed by July.
Appropriate New Zealand officer to be contacted by American Army officers will be “Chief of the Air Staff at Wellington, Air Commodore Hal Saunders.”
Saunders informed Cox that shipping communications to Apia are fairly regular but are less so to Christmas Island. He mentioned that a vessel was due to leave for Christmas Island toward middle of November, a sailing which War Department might wish to take advantage of if it desired anything to be done there.
Copies Cox’s communications being forwarded by air mail.