295 Advisory War Council Minute 1424

CANBERRA, 21 September 1944

AGENDUM No. 22/1944-BASING OF NETHERLANDS FORCES ON AUSTRALIA [1]

Consideration was given to the enquiry made by the Netherlands Minister in Australia as to whether the Commonwealth Government would be agreeable to the arrival, accommodation, training and maintenance in Australia of a Netherlands Force of about 30,000 men, to be used in the Netherlands East Indies.

2. It was recommended that the attitude of the Commonwealth Government to the approach by the Netherlands Government be defined as follows:-

(a) The proposal of the Netherlands Government for the basing of a Netherlands Force of approximately 30,000 troops on Australia commends itself to the Commonwealth Government, in principle, and the Government is willing to provide facilities and assistance as may be practicable in the light of its existing and potential commitments.

(b) As a first step, it will be necessary to ascertain what is involved in accommodating, training and maintaining the proposed Netherlands Force, as well as financial and other detailed arrangements, in order that the proposal may be related to the Government's existing and potential commitments.

(c) To this end, the Government proposes that Australian Army Staffs in the first instance, and subsequently other Commonwealth representatives concerned, as may be necessary, should have discussions with the Netherlands authorities on the matters indicated in (b).

(d) Upon receipt of further detailed information, the Government will again communicate with the Netherlands Government.

(e) It is assumed that the despatch of the proposed Netherlands Force will have the approval of the Combined Chiefs of Staff and that it will form part of the forces operating in the Southwest Pacific Area under the command of General MacArthur.

(This recommendation was taken as the decision of War Cabinet- Minute No. (3807)).

1 Document 289.

[AA:A2682, VOL. 8]