347 Cablegram to Canberra

Jakarta, 28 November 1975

O.JA3350 SECRET AUSTEO PRIORITY

Portuguese Timor

We discussed with Tjan and Lim Bian Kie possibility that FRETILIN might declare independence soon.

  1. They were not surprised to hear this. In fact they gave the distinct impression they expected FRETILIN to make such a move and would not be unhappy about it.
  2. They said that a UDI by FRETILIN would introduce a new factor in the Timor political situation which was somewhat of a 'stalemate'. Their guarded 'personal' comments about Indonesia's possible reaction were along the lines of paragraph 14 of JA1615.1 Indonesia would point out to Portugal that the declaration was contrary to the policy agreed at the Rome talks and ask Portugal to take action to preserve the agreement. Fighting in Timor would continue. Portugal would be unable to restore law and order. Portuguese Timor would become a 'no-man's land'.

[NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1, xvi]