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PLAQUE NO. 87 ... WAR CABINET ROOMS

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VICTORIA BARRACKS MELBOURNE


This blue stone building houses the war cabinet rooms used throughout World War II (1939-1945). All major decisions controlling Australia's war time operations were made here by the war cabinet.

The cabinet was composed of the senior members of the government of the day with portfolios directly related to the war effort. Advice to the war cabinet came from many sources including the chiefs of staff (heads of Navy, Army and Air Force) and the advisory war council composed of members of the government and opposition.

The first war cabinet meeting was held here in September 1939 with Prime Minister Robert Menzies presiding. He was succeeded very briefly by Arthur Fadden in October 1941. A new government with John Curtin as Prime Minister controlled the war cabinet for the rest of the war however Curtin died on 5 July, 1945, only five weeks before peace was declared.

 

AUSTRALIA AND WORLD WAR II

Australia's Population

  - 7 million

Australian men & Women who served in the Armed Forces

  - 1 million
 
  Aust. Navy Aust. Army Aust. Airforce Total
Served Overseas 37,000 397,000 124,000 558,000
Killed on Active Service 1,00 18,713 6,460 27,073

 

ROBERT GORDON MENZIES
(1894 - 1978)

PRIME MINISTER

APRIL 1939 to 28 AUGUST 1941
AND
1949 to 1966


JOHN CURTIN
(1885 - 1995)

PRIME MINISTER

3 OCTOBER to 5 JULY 1945

 

 



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