|Australia did not begin full mobilisation (military and industrial) until early 1942 after Curtain took the Priministership. This was not because Curtain was a genius or a visionary but because he unlike Menzies thought it was better to something rather than nothing, infact a great many people of the time could probably have done better than Curtain.
The issue, as I see it is that Menzies ignored the threat and failed, inspite of all advice, failed to rearm or mobilise.
Upon being re-elected in 1948 he did the same thing again. He cancelled and delayed programs that would have been of great value to our forces in Korea and then emidiately after Korea, continued to cut existing and planned capabilities on the assuption our security was garanteed by others.
Again he got it wrong and Australia was forced to spend huge sums of money rebuilding from a lower base to fend of the threat of Communisum in SEA.
I do not argue that Menzies was an outstanding polititian but rather that he put his popularity and re-election before the security of the nation. Defence spending was not popular, financial sacrifice was not popular therefore he made the popular decissions to keep the majority of the people happy the majority of the time.
In many ways Howard, although he idolised Menzies, was more of a leader, visionary and above all better for Australia than Ming ever was.