122 Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 51 WASHINGTON, 1 April 1940,6.42 p.m.


The Netherlands Minister here [1] informs me that there is likelihood of Portuguese Government agreeing to the Japanese application for mining and agricultural concessions in Portuguese Timor. It is stated that the Japanese have offered to establish shipping line from Japan to Timor. He believes that confidential British representations at Lisbon the only thing that may stop the Japanese getting concessions. The Netherlands Government is alarmed at possibilities. I suggest that you represent matter to the British Government. Shall I speak to the State Department here seeking their confidential co-operation in Lisbon? [2]

1 Dr A. Loudon.

2 On 2 April 1940 Casey reported that Loudon intended to approach the State Department the following day to request the U.S. Govt's assistance with representations at Lisbon. (See Casey's cablegram 53 on file AA: A981, Timor (Portuguese) 22, v.) In conversation with Casey on 3 April, Sumner Welles, the U.S. Under-Secretary of State, referred to his discussion with Loudon and asked if Australia proposed to make similar representations. Reporting this to Canberra in cablegram 54 Casey commented: 'Inference was that he hoped we would.' 'The External Affairs Dept replied in cablegram 36 of 9 April explaining what was being done in London and Lisbon and advised: 'In the circumstances feel that no good purpose would be served by your suggestion.' (See note of conversation and cablegrams 53 and 36 on file AA: A3300, 49.)

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