2 Cablegram to Jakarta

Canberra, 2 May 1974


Portuguese Timor

Although we do not want you to raise the matter formally with the Indonesians at present, we should also be interested to have reports on Indonesian views on the future of Portuguese Timor.

  1. In response to an enquiry by the Indonesian Embassy here about Australia's position on the change of regime in Portugal, we referred to Minister's statement of 29 April (our telegram 2836) and stated that Minister's emphasis on Portuguese African territories was deliberate but that we should nevertheless also welcome political evolution in Portuguese Timor.
  2. In response to press enquiries on the future prospects for Portuguese Timor in the light of recent events in Lisbon, we propose to say that while Australia is interested in these developments from the point of view of Portugal's overseas territories generally, in the absence of an armed liberation struggle in Portuguese Timor, we see the situation there as different to that obtaining in the African territories.1 We would also say that, for the time being, the Government proposes to adopt a 'business as usual' approach to relations with Portuguese Timor.2

[NAA: A1838, 49/2/111, ii]