124 Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London, to Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister

Cablegram 213 LONDON, 2 April 1940, 6.45 p.m.

SECRET FOR THE PRIME MINISTER

TIMOR. Reference your telegram of 18th March. [1] At preliminary meeting with Butler [2] and Foreign Office officials on 20th March I gave your views and discussed the points raised in your telegram. Although Wittouck [3] has not obtained any concession yet, Foreign Office definite that the Portuguese Government must of necessity use Wittouck as a buffer against Japanese pressure irrespective of the strength of his claim moral or otherwise.

As a result of discussion, arranged that I should see the Portuguese Ambassador [4] and stress the Commonwealth Government's interest in concession. This I have done, and the Ambassador has undertaken to convey my representations to Lisbon both regarding oil concessions and the establishment of Darwin-Dilli Air Service.

Also arranged that I should see Cadman [5] which I did on 21st March. He promised me his views promptly but I have not yet been able to extract them from him. As soon as I obtain them we are having another meeting at the Foreign Office at which the question of desirability or otherwise of Dutch participation will also be considered. This question was left over to enable Butler who although personally inclined to share your views desired further to examine the political aspects.

BRUCE

1 Document 104.

2 U.K. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

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

4 Dr A. R. de S. Monteiro. For Bruce's record of the meeting, which took Place on 26 March 1940, see note on file AA: M100, March 1940.

5 Chairman of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. For Bruce's record of this meeting see note on file AA: M100, March 1940.

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