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THREE-DIVISION ARMY Proportionate Reduction In Air Force * N.Z. Press Association—Copyright CANBERRA, July 27The Australian Army's operational strength is to be cut from its present six divisions to three divisions, with, a relative reduction in ancillary and base troops and administrative personnel. The Air Force is to be proportionally reduced from 53 squadrons in the South-west Pacific area to a figure not yet determined, but estimated at probably 36 squadrons. Announcing these drastic cuts in. the House of Representatives to-day, the Prime Minister, Mr. Chifley, said: "The reduction to these strengths will entail the release of a considerably greater number than the 64,000 now authorised." Mr. Chifley added that the reduction would take place as soon as operational plans would permit. A reorganisation could be carried out and an orderly resettlement of discharged men could be planned and arranged. For the main offensive against Japan it was proposed that Australia's contribution should be firstly, the Australian naval squadron under its own commander: secondly, an expeditionary force of land and air forces which would operate under Australian commanders in a similar manner to that of the A.I.F. in the Middle East. Mr. Chifley said it was a matter of vital importance to the future of Australia and its status at the peace table that its military effort against Japan should be maintained on a scale which, with its earlier record in the war, would guarantee an effective voice in the final settlement. ~ , Mr. Chifley said that while the strengths of the Army and Air Force would be reduced, the Australian Navy would be maintained at its present strength. Mr. Chifley said it had also been proposed that a token force should be associated, if possible, with the British forces in operations for the recapture of Singapore to avenge the defeat of 1942 and to contribute to the liberation of Australian, prisoners of war.

"MARVEL AT IT" Australia Has 700,000 Soldiers Under Arms POPULATION BELOW LONDON'S Rec. 10 a.m. COLOMBO, July 27. "Australia, with her armies strung out from Bougainville to Borneo, provides the punchy eastern prong of the pincer closing in on the Japanese in Dutch East Indies, says Seac, the Services newspaper of the South-east Asia Command, in a review of the recent meeting in Manila -of Admiral Mountbatten and General MacArthur. "Look at the measure of Australia's contribution and marvel at it. Seven hundred thousand Australians are under arms, making up six magnificent Army divisions, an Air Force of 19,000 men and a powerful naval squadron to which are being added thousands of landing-craft. "Australia," the paper adds, "provides a base for the tremendous Allied fleet, helps with its repairs and contributes enormously to its victualling. All that on a population tfr less than that of London.

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Bibliographic details

AUSTRALIAN CUT, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 177, 28 July 1945

Word Count

AUSTRALIAN CUT Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 177, 28 July 1945

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