334 Evatt to Bruce

Cablegram N3 CANBERRA, 23 November 1943

My telegram N.2. [1] You may possibly think it more advisable to postpone discussions with van Kleffens [2] until time comes when he will again visit Australia. My personal feeling is that defence of both Dutch Timor and Dutch New Guinea will be again so vital to us that lease of some portion at least are (sic) best means of giving Australia full opportunity for carrying out defence and other arrangements as before indicated in my correspondence with Eden dealing with Portuguese Timor. [3] On the other hand you may by a gradual approach along the lines of Portuguese arrangement obtain an agreement in principle which will be all that can reasonably be required for the present.

I emphasise absolute need of complete secrecy.

Best wishes.

1 Document 330.

2 Netherlands Foreign Minister.

3 See Document 233.

[AA:M100, NOVEMBER 1943]