57 Lt Col W. R. Hodgson, Secretary of Department of External Affairs, to External Affairs Office, London

Cablegram 67 17 August 1937,

Reference Staughton concessions Timor oil and recent despatches relating to possible Japanese penetration. Staughton [1] has granted option over his rights in Timor to E. J. Pascoe a past director of Oil Search Ltd a well-known Australian Company which is receiving grants from Commonwealth Government and which it is understood from Pascoe is prepared to survey and develop oilfields in Timor if larger concessions than Staughton leases can be obtained.

Commonwealth Government would appreciate enquiry through H.M.

Ambassador at Lisbon [2] to ascertain whether oil concessions covering whole of Portuguese Timor with the exception of Staughton leases have been granted any other company. If not, is there possibility of Staughton or an Australian company commanding ample capital procuring them and on what terms and conditions? A direct approach by letter to the Governor, Dilli [3], by Pascoe in June last has brought no reply.

HODGSON

1 See Document 49, note 1.

2 Sir Charles Wingfield.

3 Captain E. B. L. Loureiro was Acting Governor at that time.

[FA : A2937, TIMOR (PORTUGUESE) DEFENCE OPERATIONS, i]