162 Cablegram to Lisbon and Jakarta

Canberra, 6 August 1975


Portugal: Political Considerations

We understand the obscurities of the present constantly-shifting political situation and your problems in identifying developments and personnel changes upon which you can hazard even the most qualified and partial forecasts of future trends. This said, however, it would be very helpful to us to have your own and Jakarta's thoughts on the sort of political developments in Lisbon which might precipitate:

  1. A Governmental decision to grant immediate independence to Portuguese Timor and disclaim any further responsibilities for its political future, regardless of the consequences;
  2. A decision by the Indonesian Government that the Portuguese Government had lurched so far to the left that, whether or not it retained control of Portuguese Timor in the short term, the territory would be used as a base for the sort of interference in the affairs of neighbouring countries that so concerns the Indonesian Government.1

[NAA: A10463, 801/13/1111, xi]