400 Cablegram to Canberra

Jakarta, 16 January 1976


Timor: Statement by Malik

We consider it would be wrong to conclude from the ABC news item that Indonesia is moving away from self-determination in Timor.1 We understand that the legal procedure for incorporating East Timor into Indonesia which Malik is reported to have described is necessary regardless of whether there is an act of self-determination.

  1. Questioned about the report TJAN (please protect) commented that the leaders of the provisional government were tough and stubborn men. They considered the declarations of integration being made by areas of East Timor under their control as part of the act of self­-determination.
  2. Indonesia, Tjan said, would explore Winspeare's proposals before deciding the form of any act of self-determination.
  3. Our present assessment is that Indonesia would like to follow Winspeare's recommendations, but would do so only if it is sure that integration would be the result. We doubt that Indonesia will hesitate to reject Winspeare's proposals if it does not liketnem. (Indonesia's attitude towards the United Nations and other foreign involvement in the East Timor problem has hardened recently. Their cynical approach is illustrated by the coincidence of the moves reported in our JA42092 and Winspeare's visit.)
  4. Nevertheless we believe the Indonesians will seek to present whatever means is chosen to incorporate East Timor as an act of self-determination. As you know President Soeharto's policy guideline is that the incorporation should be achieved as 'legally' as possible.

[NAA:Al0463, 801/13/11/1, xix]