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

Cablegram 141 WASHINGTON, 19 February 1941, 4.58 p.m.

SECRET

Repeated to Tokyo 11 Secret.

Netherlands Minister here [1] tells me that his Government has been informed by Portuguese Government that they believe Japanese attack on Portuguese Timor is a serious possibility. Portuguese state that their defence plan includes the evacuation of Dilli and retreat to prepared positions at Maubara. Portuguese land forces are one European company plus unspecified native troops.

Portuguese Government will not initiate contact with N.E.I or Australia concerning defence co-operation merits. Desire not to compromise their neutrality. If attacked they will ask such defence co-operation at once.

I am advised that Eastern part of N.E.I. including Timor is probably now free of rain and monsoons.

CASEY

1 Dr Alexandre Loudon.

[AA:A981, JAPAN 185B, i]