374 Cablegram to Canberra

Jakarta, 12 December 1975


Portuguese Timor

Australia's positive vote on the Portuguese Timor resolution in Fourth Committee was described to us today by Tjan as 'disastrous'. He said Indonesia had hoped that Australia would have been helpful in the United Nations. Australia's vote and approach in the United Nations was in direct contrast to that of other regional countries such as Japan, PNG, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and India.

  1. Following receipt of Sani's telegram reporting developments in the United Nations on 10 December Tjan said questions were asked here about Australia's intentions. General Moerdani had referred to Australia's 'double-cross' and certain BAKIN Generals had spoken in similar terms (this was before the vote was taken in the Fourth Committee).
  2. Tjan said that the United Nations vote would be very important in determining Indonesia's attitude towards Australia. Until the vote, there had been 'general understanding' of the antiĀ­ Indonesia activities in Australia-union bans, critical press comment and so on. Indonesia he said had gone out of its way 'to make allowances for certain things'. But now he doubted whether this understanding would prevail.
  3. We defended at length our position again to Tjan. He was not receptive.
  4. This is of course a first reaction and we shall also need to take soundings elsewhere in the Indonesian Government (although as you know Tjan is a central figure in the powerful 'Palace Group'). We shall report further as soon as possible.
  5. Tjan has just rung to say he has spoken to General Ali Murtopo about Australia's vote. He said that Ali was extremely disappointed. Ali commented that Indonesia would have to consider what 'positive action' to take concerning Australia.

[NAA: A10463, 801113/11/1, xvii]