283 Cablegram to Canberra

Jakarta, 21 October 1975, 2.30 p.m.


Australian Journalists in Timor

Ref O.JA25361

General Adenan has just rung to say he is confident he will be able to give us news of the five missing Australian journalists by this evening (Tjan has also indicated this to us.)

  1. He asked about our plans to send Johnson to Kupang. We said that if we received final word tonight about the fate of the journalists we would of course cancel the visit.
  2. Earlier, Adenan had told us that the Indonesian authorities had received a report from the Timor border area which referred to 'rumours' about the discovery of four bodies of Europeans in the Balibo area.
  3. We mentioned to Adenan consular aspects. We said that the wishes of the next of kin would have to be ascertained concerning the remains and personal effects.
  4. Comment: We assume that special arrangements can be made to have the remains/personal effects brought to the border by UDT/APODETI. We shall explore this as soon as formal advice has been received of the journalists' fate. In the meantime, grateful for any advice concerning possible consular requirements.

[NAA: Al0463, 801/13/11/5, i]