Three things are clear:
- The Portuguese will do nothing for the Timorese.
- The United States will not support Portuguese colonialism.
- The Indonesians will move against the territory; if they achieve their end by force (and there is nothing to prevent them), it will be a most serious encouragement to irresponsible and expansionist elements in Indonesia and it will do the greatest harm to Australia's long-term interests.
- The United States and the United Kingdom are looking to Australia to take some initiative to avoid the Western world finding itself in a situation where a nationalistic revolutionary power, backed by Russian arms, can achieve its ends by force of arms. This power is at Australia's doorstep.
- I want a Working Group on Portuguese Timor to explore all possible measures: and to analyse developments which, if they can be initiated or encouraged, would produce the least embarrassment to Australia's foreign policy and national interests.
- The deliberations of the Working Group are to be kept highly confidential; and it should report within three weeks. 1
[NAA: A1838, 3038/1011, ii]