298 Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister, to Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in London
Cablegram unnumbered 29 May 1940,
Your 358, Timor.  Your views and proposals generally concurred in, as it seems evident that Oil Concessions are not now in position to carry out undertakings.
As to your alternatives, it is felt (2) should be adopted, as once existing concession is allowed to lapse, there will not only be great difficulty and delay in obtaining another but the whole territory would again be open to competition at a time when Portugal may not be able to resist Japanese pressure.
Consequently, and with a view to keeping concession alive until major companies can obtain modifications or replace it with a new concession altogether, you are authorized to agree to advance on behalf of Commonwealth Government the 500 or 1000 necessary for the statutory payments to be made at Lisbon.
This advance to be repaid by major companies when they take over from Oil Concessions.
The close attention now being paid to Netherlands Indies area by Japan renders early decision and quick subsequent action most advisable, and I would be glad if you could expedite proposed meeting to this end.