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Friday, 21 June 1946

Mr FORDE (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for the Army) - The total number of Japanese personnel at present held by the Australians in New Guinea is 1,668. This total is composed of Japanese personnel held as war criminals, or in connexion with the trial of war criminals. The numbers of Australian Army personnel in New Guinea and adjacent areas at the 27th May, 1946, were: Morotai, 750; New Guinea, New Britain and the Solomons, 8,073 ; total,8,823. The number of troops at present in New Guinea, New Britain and the Solomons has been reduced to 3,600. It is anticipated that 2,100 of these will be shipped out by the end of this month, leaving a total of 1,500 members of the Australian Military Forces in that area at the beginning of July, 1946. These personnel, together with the personnel in the Morotai area, will be required for the time being to guard and maintain army equipment, stores and vehicles in the area until evacuation; but it is anticipated that a progressive reduction will be effected until evacuation is complete.

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