139 Cablegram to Canberra

New York, 5 June 1975


Committee of Twenty-Four: Portuguese Timor

The draft decision by the Committee of Twenty-Four on 'Territories under Portuguese Administration' for adoption in Lisbon just circulated by Chairman Salim contains the following surprise paragraph No 6.


  1. With regard to Timor and dependencies, the only remaining colonial territory under Portuguese administration outside Africa, the Special Committee expresses the hope that the necessary steps will soon be taken to enable the people of the territory to exercise their right to self-determination and independence as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and in conformity with the declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples.


[matter omitted]

  1. Having compared notes with Indonesian Ambassador Anwar Sani, it transpires that Salim consulted neither of us before including the draft paragraph on Timor, and this will be taken up with him shortly. We agree with Sani however, that the working paper having been circulated to Committee members, it would be difficult and undesirable to try to have the paragraph on Timor excluded. Sani is reporting to Jakarta on the question. He proposes placing his own interpretation on the paragraph which would include the point that if Timor decided to join Indonesia, it would of course be obtaining its independence in the process. We feel we already have suitable instructions in your memorandum 289 dated 26 May1 which will be followed carefully.
  2. Sani is also tempted to ask in his statement in Lisbon why there should not be a specific reference to Macao.

[NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1, ix]