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Establishment of a signals intelligence organisation post Second World War

On 23 July 1946, the Australian Government approved in principle the establishment of the Signals Intelligence Centre in Melbourne as part of the British Commonwealth Signals Intelligence Organisation.

In April 1947, the Defence Signals Bureau was established within the Department of Defence as part of a joint intelligence organisation encompassing both the Defence Signals Bureau and the Joint Intelligence Bureau. The Defence Signals Bureau was established to function as the Government’s cryptologic and communications security agency. Its role was to exploit foreign communications and be responsible for communications security in the armed forces and government departments.

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Defence Signals Bureau, Albert Park Barracks.
Defence Signals Bureau, Albert Park Barracks

The following are links to historical documents that tell the story of the Australian Signals Directorate’s beginnings.

Joint Intelligence Organisation – Post War – Australian Sigint Centre and organisation (Item 208/1946, 1946)

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Joint Intelligence Organisation – Post War File No. 2 (from Cabinet Decision of July 1946). Policy file containing Cabinet approval of establishment of Joint Intelligence Organisation and participation of New Zealand Government (Item 2363/2, 1946–52)

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Joint Intelligence Organisation File No. 3 from Decisions of Cabinet Committee, November 1947 (Item 2363/3, 1946–52)

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Organisation and Functions – General – BRUSA and UKUSA Agreement – Discussions, Part 1 (Item 1-1-6 Part 1, 1946–52)

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Organisation and Functions – General – BRUSA and UKUSA Agreement – Discussions, Part 2 (Item 1-1-6 Part 2, 1955–59)

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Principles of UKUSA Collaboration with Commonwealth Countries Other Than UK (Item S112, 1955–56)

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Joint Intelligence Organisation – Post War (Item 1213, 19 July 1946 – 23 July 1946)

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[History compiled by Department of Foreign Affairs] Post-War Development of Australia's Intelligence Machinery: A Documentary Survey, Part 1 (Item A12392, 1, 1945–76)

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