200 Mr M. de A. Ferreira de Carvalho, Governor of Portuguese Timor, to Lt Col W. W. Leggatt and Lt Col W. Detiger, Commanders of Australian and Netherlands Forces in Portuguese Timor
Letter (translation) DILI, 17 December 1941
In reply to the communique which you gentlemen handed me at 9.20 a.m. today , requesting me to accept the help of the Australian and Dutch Forces, which will be directed immediately to the territory of this colony, I have the honour to inform you that, in accordance with the instructions from my Government in Portugal, I cannot accept this help, because the position with regard to the conflict is one of strict neutrality, and because no aggression of any sort has taken place in our territory, the last-mentioned being the sole condition under which the Government of Portugal could accept the help of Australian and Dutch Forces for the Defence of the Colony.
According to information received from my Government, His British Majesty's Government has already been informed of the abovementioned viewpoint.
Under these circumstances every disembarkation of forces will be considered as a breach of the neutrality of our territory.