314 Cablegram to Canberra

Jakarta, 31 October 1975, 4.20 p.m.

O.JA2808 SECRET PRIORITY

Portuguese Timor: Journalists

Regrettably, despite constant pressure, we have got no further on the journalists. There still remains it seems a split within the Indonesian Government about how it should handle the matter.

  1. A Foreign Ministry contact told us today that yesterday they had a 'very hard' meeting with BAKIN about the whole Timor issue. At one stage the Director for Political Affairs, Djajadiningrat, had said that BAKIN's approach made Indonesia's diplomatic position extremely difficult.
  2. We expect that Johnson will receive a reply to his letter of 23 October to Lopes da Cruz1 but that it will be unhelpful.
  3. A factor complicating the situation is the absence of Generals Ali Murtopo and Benny Moerdani-two key men in Indonesia's Timor policy. Both are expected back next week. The Ambassador will seek to see one of them or General Yoga early in the week.
  4. We have spoken to Johnson today and urged him to keep pressing for approval to go to Atambua. The Ambassador also urged him not to go beyond the border and to be very careful about his own safety.

WOOLCOTT

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