1 Mr A. T. Stirling, External Affairs Officer in London, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 3 LONDON, 1 January 1940, 6.51 p.m. SECRET


My telegram 716. [1] Ambassador at Lisbon [2] has now reported as follows: 'Oil Concessions have an exclusive concession covering 4,000 square miles. The company have undertaken to negotiate with Wittouck [3] for payment of compensation in respect of expenditure he has incurred in Timor for the purpose of satisfying scruples of Minister of Colonies [4] regarding Wittouck's moral rights. If satisfactory agreement is arrived at the Minister will grant remaining area about 1,500 square miles to Oil Concessions. Wittouck has no legal rights in the island and [5] the Minister cannot grant concession in respect of remaining part until negotiations with Wittouck have taken place. Japanese have no hope of getting an oil concession.' According to secret sources previously referred to, Japanese Minister [6] still actively telegraphing his government, e.g., asking that the Consul General at Sydney [7] should endeavour to ascertain whether Oil Concessions are backed by Wales Bank.


1 Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. II,

Document 417.

2 Sir Walford Selby.

3 S. F. Wittouck, Managing Director of the Asia Investment


4 Dr F. J. V. Machado.

5 ? but.

6 Kikuji Yonezawa.

7 Masatoshi Akiyama.

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