230 Mr J. A. Lyons, Prime Minister, to Lord Stanley, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 69 18 July 1938,

SECRET

Reference Timor Oil Concessions, Commonwealth Government would appreciate if Ambassador at Lisbon [1] be requested to inform Portuguese Government:

(a) Agreement has been reached between two purely Australian Companies, namely, Oil Search and Oil Concessions to form a new operating Company for search and exploitation oil in Timor.

(b) New Company will be of 500,000 with work capital of at least 100,000 of which Oil Search undertake to subscribe 55,000.

(c) Oil Search will retain control in way of finance, management and technical operations of new Company. Oil Search is well known Australian Company and has been actively engaged in search for oil in Australia and Territory of New Guinea for some years.

(d) Oil Search desire to make application for area covered by Staughton Concessions in first place, and new operating Company will be formed directly concessions obtained from Portuguese Government.

(e) Commonwealth Government after careful investigation are satisfied Oil Search and Oil Concessions are reputable and bona fide Companies and can command the capital and technical experience to exploit the concession to best advantage and mutual interests Portugal and Australia. Government desires to support the application for concessions and hopes Portuguese Government will favourably consider same.

(f) Formal application following these representations will be made to Lisbon by Oil Search which proposed also to send a representative to Lisbon immediately.

LYONS

1 Sir Walford Selby.

[AA : A981, TIMOR (PORTUGUESE) 22, iii]