323 Minute from Miller to Feakes

Canberra, 5 November 1975


Timor Policy

I wonder whether what has been done in Rome makes this an opportune moment for us to try and clear our minds about what we would like to see happen next, and what we think will happen next. In other words, would we prefer the three points underlined in the attached inwards telegram1 to guide future Indonesian actions, or do we regard them as simply to be manipulated to assist the integration of East Timor into Indonesia? Do we think there is any likelihood of the former becoming the reality?

  1. While one answer to the former question may be to point to the continuing P.M./Minister difference of view, failure to know what we wish to see achieved will make it very difficult to formulate an attitude to proposals, e.g. to take part in yet another version of a joint body of some kind, which may be put to us. Forgive me if this is stating the obvious too flagrantly.
  2. In regard to the latter question, if we think that Indonesia's 'two-level' policy will continue unabated we should be careful of expressing more support for the achievements of Rome in a formal way (attached outwards telegram,2 para 7) or indeed in any way.
  3. Also in regard to the attached outwards telegram, para 5, I wonder how much it is in our interest to pursue, for example with Tjan or Moerdani, the question of the extent to which Indonesia is interested in negotiations rather than a military solution. If we decided that it would be in accord with what we wanted for the Rome joint statement to represent Indonesia's real policy the best way to further this might be to take that as given, rather than question it.3

[NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1, xxxviii]