187 Commonwealth Government to Lord Cranborne, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 797 [1] CANBERRA, 12 December 1941

SECRET IMMEDIATE

Your telegram No. 819 of 11th December. [2] The Commonwealth Government is in accord with the proposal to send a combined Australian and Dutch force into Portuguese Timor to liquidate the Japanese and are authorising their commander in Dutch Timor [3] to send a detachment to act in conjunction with the Dutch. The Commonwealth Government's view is that this move should be made without delay.

Australian Forces despatched to Dutch Timor comprise infantry battalion, coast defence units and one independent company. The last named is earmarked for operations in Portuguese Timor. These forces are expected to arrive at Koepang today the 12th December.

1 Repeated to the U.K. Commander-in-Chief in the Far East.

2 Document 186.

3 Lt Col W. W. Leggatt.

[AA:A981, TIMOR (PORTUGUESE) 3, i]