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Friday, 12 July 1946

Mr FORDE - The total strength of the Australian Military Forces on the 11th July, 1946, was approximately 99,000, of whom 86,000 were on the mainland of Australia and 13,000 outside Australia. Of those outside Australia, 10,026 were in Japan, 2,000 in New Guinea, 550 in Morotai and I think about 330 in Macassar. The honorable gentleman referred to the alleged friction between Australian and Dutch troops in Morotai. I have made careful inquiries, and I am advised that no tension or friction exists between the Dutch and Australian forces there and that complete co-operation between the two forces is maintained. I assure- the honorable gentleman that' everything possible is being done by the Government to bring troops from Morotai and other places back to Australia as soon as possible, consistent with looking after equipment and loading it onto landing craft transports. Troops are in training to relieve the Australian troops in Japan so as to ensure that our promise shall be carried out to return troops from Japan shortly after they have completed one year's service there.

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