362 War Cabinet Agenda

Agenda 34/1939 14 November 1939,

MOST SECRET

AUSTRALIAN CO-OPERATION IN THE WAR: DESPATCH OF FORCES OVERSEAS

In the attached cablegrams dated 5th and 6th November [1], the Minister for Supply and Development [2] raises the question of the despatch of Australian forces overseas.

2. The matter has been considered by the Defence Committee [3], who recommend- (a) that the 6th Division be sent overseas to complete its training in Egypt or Palestine, as proposed by the United Kingdom Chiefs of Staff;

(b) that a second division be despatched overseas as soon as it can be raised and organized to complete an Australian Corps of two divisions;

(c) that Headquarters and two brigade groups should, subject to shipping being available, be embarked during the first half of December, 1939, and the remainder by the middle of January, 1940;

(d) that, as regards Air Force, the personnel of one Army Cooperation Squadron be sent overseas with the 6th Division, its equipment being provided by the United Kingdom Government on arrival overseas, and that a high priority should be given to the training in Australia of personnel for a second Army Cooperation Squadron.

3. The Committee stress the need for an early decision in order that the necessary arrangements might be made in regard to shipping.

4. The matter is submitted for consideration by the War Cabinet.

[4]

G.A. STREET

1 Documents 327 and 332.

2 R.G. Casey.

3 See Defence Committee Minute, 13 November 1939, on file AA:

A2671, 34/1939.

4 War Cabinet discussed this Agenda on is and 16 November 1939, but decided to defer the matter for consideration by Full Cabinet.

See AA: A2671, 34/1939.

[AA: A2671, 34/1939]