PRECURSOR TO WAR
Paul Thomas writes ( Sport, November 11) that in 1939, we followed the UK into World War II, with Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage saying, “Where [Britain] goes, we go.” But as Gerald Hensley writes in Beyond the Battlefield: New Zealand and Its Allies 1939-45, New Zealand was critical of prewar-Britain’s appeasement policy in Abyssinia (Ethiopia), China and Spain.
In 1937, New Zealand wanted to add “by Japanese planes” to a League of Nations resolution condemning the bombing of towns in China, a proposal opposed by Britain and Australia. The declaration of war in 1939 marked the abandonment of appeasement by Britain and France. John Wilson (Johnsonville, Wellington)