138 Letter from Feakes to Woolcott

Canberra, 4 June 1975

SECRET

EXTRACT

You may have noticed that there has so far been no reaction from the Minister to your letter of 17 April, in which you mentioned the differences in the approaches to Timor of Senator Willesee and the Prime Minister.1 I spoke on the same subject to Senator Willesee last week and, although he had not then seen your letter, his office have now brought it to his attention. Neither what I had to say [to] him nor, it seems, your letter is likely to persuade him to take up with the Prime Minister the differences in their approaches to Portuguese Timor-or at least so I judge from the course of the conversation I had with Senator Willesee on the subject. He is alive to the dangers inherent in these differences, particularly that, as a result of them, there may be some miscalculation on the part of the Indonesians or alternatively that, having beaten the drum of self-determination, the Government would seem to lack conviction if it remained silent in the event that there were no act of self-determination in Portuguese Timor. My feeling is that Senator Willesee may already have spoken to the Prime Minister some time ago about the differences in their approach to Portuguese Timor and has concluded that there is no point in taking matters any further. He feels very firmly that the Prime Minister is wrong.

[NAA: All443. [10]]