JAPANESE SPY RING IN QUEENSLAND
JUST PRIOR TO WWII

In September 1945, William Forgan Smith, a former Premier of the State of Queensland made a statement to the Queensland Press detailing the Queensland Government's activities in curbing the activities of some Japanese Spy Rings that operated in the State. Forgan Smith stated in the Truth dated 2 September 1945:-

It was obvious that the Japanese were going to tremendous pains to secure metals and agricultural products from Queensland, and it was equally obvious that they did not want our metals to make manicure sets. They wanted them to make guns and planes, and they were working in all sorts of underground ways to get them from us, they were thorough, but just not thorough enough.

British counter-intelligence in Singapore had advised Smith of the extent of the Japanese infiltration in Queensland. Before Smith made an official visit to London in 1937, he had definite views of the extent of:- 

- Japanese Espionage agents and 
- Japanese subversive commercial infiltration into Queensland

When Smith returned from London he made more revelations to the Queensland Parliament. He had a number of revealing papers, statutory declarations, copies of letters and documents covering a proposal to form a large Japanese company in Queensland.

It was to be a dummy company with Australian shareholders and directors that purported to mine iron ore, lead, wolfram, copper, tin, etc. The company was to be in fact a cover for some Japanese financiers (straw men).

Forgan Smith also advised that the company would be involved in espionage activities, particularly by surveying coastal regions and defences. The company had been given information on depths of water and the geography of the northern reefs. They also had maps which indicated suitable landing areas for seaplanes and other aircraft.

 

REFERENCES

"Shadows Dancing - Japanese Espionage against the West 1939 - 1945"
by Tony Matthews

 

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