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Wednesday, 29 April 1942

Mr CALWELL (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - I ask the Prime Minister whether it is a fact that during the 7 p.m. news session on the 6th April, the national radio network broadcast the following announcement: -

The Government will send Militia troops outside Australian territory if necessary. A high government authority made this clear to-day. He said that the Supreme Commander in the Anzac area, General MacArthur, could send troops wherever they were most needed. The Australian Government had asked that all forces in the south-west Pacific should be under

General MacArthur's control. Obviously that request included Militia as well as the Australian Imperial Force.

If so, will the right honorable gentleman inform me of the identity of the "high government authority" who made the statement, and the reason, if any, for his anonymity? Does the statement mean that the Government intends to conscript members of the Australian Militia Forces for service overseas? If so, will amending legislation be introduced into Parliament so as to enable this to be done?

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