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Thursday, 26 March 1942


Mr FORDE - by leave - I wish to state that twenty persons - nineteen men and one woman - who were believed to have been associated with the so-called Australia First Movement have been arrested and interned. Documents and papers which have been seized purport to show that certain people in Australia intended to make contact with the Japanese army at the moment of an invasion of Australia. The documents set out elaborate plans for sabotage at vulnerable points in this country, and describe methods calculated to make resistance to the Japanese impossible. Plans for the assassination of prominent people are set out. One document purports to be a proclamation with the heading " Australia First Government", and " welcomes to this country as friends and liberators the Japanese leaders and army". These documents indicate a fifth column activity of the worst kind by a very small band of people. The military authorities have been investigating the activities of the so-called Australia First Movement for a considerable time, and the arrests took place as a result of these inquiries. In view of the foregoing, I wish to warn people that, before associating themselves with any movement, they should assure themselves that it is bona fide and not an organization which, under the cloak of a pleasing name, is engaged in subversive activities. We shall stand no Quislings, whether they come from the highest or the lowest.







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