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Australians Wartime Leaders

             Robert Menzies was Australia's longest serving Prime Minister and was elected in 1939, he headed the United Party until he resigned and started the Liberal Party. Robert Menzies committed Australia to war in Late 1939. After this speech Australians weren't as encouraged to join the war effort because of their experience with WW1. Australia struggled to make the necessary 20,000 troops. Menzies didn't introduce conscription because he believed that the many campaigns would help make the required amount of soldiers that he had promised to Britain. (10,000). this group of men were called the 6th Division. . The Menzies government were the first to introduce rationing which was used because of the shortages and lack of many needed raw materials.
             In 1939 the Menzies government also passed the National Security Act. This gave the government more power over the people allowing them to imprison the perceived internal "threats" such as German and Italian born citizens.
             In 1947 Menzies opposed the banning of the communism party but 2 years later he had changed his mind. This is due to the widespread fear of communism in Australia.
             John Curtin: .
             John Curtin was one of Australia's Prime Ministers during both world wars. In 1941 John Curtin became Prime Minister following the termination of the Menzies Government. He was responsible for the alliance between Australia and the U.S because he saw that they were the only country who would be able to avoid a Japanese invasion of Australia. This agreement was made after a disagreement with Winston Churchill in which he argued that Australian troops (7th Division) needed to be brought home to defend Australia, Winston Churchill disagreed. In the end the troops were sent home. In 1943 John Curtin revised the defence act; this allowed the military to be sent to limited areas in the South-West pacific outside Australia. .
             Just one year earlier Curtin believed that the Japanese threat was too great and that it was necessary to send the militia outside Australia.

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