Mr R.G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Mr R.G. Casey, Minister for Supply and Development (in London)

Cablegram unnumbered 6 December 1939,


Reference statement in your cablegram of 5th November [1] that we should send a second Division as soon as we can to make an Australian Corps, and Northcott’s observations in his cablegram of 6th November [2] that you consider plans should be based on providing Corps of two Divisions at the earliest, Cabinet wish it to be understood definitely that Commonwealth cannot at this stage accept any additional commitment. You should make this quite clear before your departure from London.

You will be aware that reinforcements for twelve months will be equivalent to another Division, that our quota of Empire Air Scheme is 26,000 personnel, that Militia Forces are to be maintained at strength of 75,000 for Home Defence and that munitions production will make considerable demands on man power.

Man power and local defence position will be kept constantly under review in light of international situation.



1 Document 327.

2 Document 332.


[AA: AA 1972/341, BOX 6, CABLES ETC.,… DECEMBER 1939]