Committee of 24: Briefing for Lisbon Meeting: Portuguese Timor
- Our preference would be for there to be no Australian reference to Portuguese Timor. Our understanding is that there has so far (since April 1974) been no Committee of Twenty Four discussion on it.
- We would be grateful if you would report if any members of the Committee (or of the Secretariat) mentioned or seems likely to mention Timor. It is just possible that it will not come up at all; in any event we would not want to be the first to raise it.
- If a brief reference does prove to be needed, you should say that Australia is firmly wedded to the general principle of the right of peoples to self-determination, and that we would accept (we prefer this to 'welcome' or 'support') whatever decision the people of Portuguese Timor may come to in determining their own future in the most rational and well-prepared manner. The lines of the Timor paragraph included in your statement1 to the Fourth Committee during the debate on the Portuguese Territories on 4 October 1974 could again be followed, although we would like you to say 'accept' rather than 'welcome' (even in relation to 'association with Indonesia'), 'process' rather than 'act', and 'well-prepared' rather than 'internationally acceptable'.
A. J. MELHUISH - Acting Assistant Secretary International Organisations Branch
[NAA: A1838, 3038/7/1, i]