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GENERAL BLAMEY TO LEAD NEW A.I.F. Cabinet's Decision. APPOINTMENTS TO HIGH MILITARY POSTS.
Major General Sir Thomas Blarney has been appointed by the War Cabinet to command the division of 20.000 troops to be raised for service in Australia or overseas.
This was announced by the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies). Lieut-General E. K. Squires, an Englishman on loan to Australia, who is Inspector-General and Acting Chief of the General Staff, is to continue to head the General Staff post until the termination of his engagement. Major-General J. D. Lavarack, an Australian, who hitherto has been Chief of the General Staff, Is to be General Officer Commanding the Southern Command — Victoria, Tasmania, and South Australia.
Other appointments include: — Major-General O. F. Phillips (Quartermaster-General and Master General of Ordnance) Is to be Inspector of Coast and Anti-aircraft Defences. Colonel V. A. H. Sturdee (Director of Staff Duties) is to be General Officer Commanding the Eastern Command (N.S.W.).
Brigadier C. G. N. Miles (Commander of the Military College. Duntroon) is to be Adjutant General. Colonel E. K. Smart (Liaison Officer at the High Commissioner's Office, London) is to be Quartermaster General.
Colonel T. R. Williams (Director of Mechanisation) is to be Master General of the Ordnance — a new post resulting from the division of the duties of the Quartermaster-General and Master-General of Ordnance.
The appointments of Brigadier H. D. Wynter as General Officer Commanding the Northern Command. (Queensland) and of Brigadier J. M. A. Durrant as General Officer Commanding the Western Command, W.A.) have already been announced.
Rates of Pay.
The Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) said that these changes would enable the command organisation to be inaugurated forthwith.
The reconstruction of the Military Board would provide for vigorous executive action in the Army's war policy.
The War Cabinet also considered the rate of pay for the new A.I.F., the Militia Forces when called up for prolonged training, and the Army Reserve. An announcement on these and the pay for the Air Expeditionary Force is expected to-night.
Mr. Menzies said that a detailed examination was being made of additional war measures proposed by defence advisers, and that these would also be considered in the light of advice received from the British Government.
Construction of Dock.
Cabinet discussions to-day centred on supplementary proposals for the Army.
Mr. Menzies said that a decision had not yet been made on whether ground maintenance men would be sent overseas with the six air squadrons.
A report on a suitable site for the construction of a dock to accommodate a capital ship in Australia was being awaited from Sir Leopold Saville, who had recently completed a survey in Australia.
When this was received consideration would be given by the War Cabinet to the desirability of building the dock.
Finality had not yet been reached on negotiations with the British Government to determine the prices of the Australian wheat and wool. Expansion of War Plans. Rapid expansion plans for the fighting force will Increase Australia's expenditure on defence this year well beyond the £50,000.000 to which the country is already committed.
Although the Army, Navy and Air Force chiefs will not be able to 'write their own ticket.' their assessment of what Is required to meet war needs will result in an expansion to a point that could not be contemplated in the framing of the last Budget.
So that it can press on with its review of the expansion plans. Cabinet cancelled a projected inspection of the Commonwealth Aircraft Factory at Fisherman's Bend today. It will sit throughout the day.