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Royal New Zealand Air Force



Early in 1940 a Cabinet Committee on Defence was formed, its purpose being to provide a more compact and manageable body for the direction of the war within the full Cabinet. In July, following the crisis caused by the fall of France, it was replaced by the War Cabinet, composed of representatives of both the major political parties, which thereafter had complete authority to make major decisions. It functioned successfully until it was dissolved at the end of the war.

In 1943 Mr Shanahan was appointed assistant secretary to the War Cabinet, and the office of the Organisation for National Security became an integral part of the War Cabinet secretariat, dropping its separate identity.

The link between the services and the War Cabinet was two-fold. On the one hand there was an advisory chain through the Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Organisation for National Security, and on the other a chain of command from the War Cabinet, through the Minister of Defence, to the three Chiefs of Staff.