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113 Sir George Pearce, Minister for External Affairs, to Mr H. Fitzmaurice, U.K. Consul-General in Batavia

Letter (air mail) 26 November 1937,

I have the honour to refer to previous correspondence in regard to
the general position in Portuguese Timor and to the Staughton

I have been informed by the London Office of the Department of
External Affairs that you recently suggested in a despatch to the
United Kingdom Government that Mr Lambert, His Britannic Majesty's
Vice-Consul at Batavia, should visit Portuguese Timor to
investigate conditions there, and you further suggested that the
Commonwealth Government might care to submit a questionnaire to
which Mr Lambert might supply answers. I understand that Mr
Lambert will be leaving on 14th December, 1937, and that he will
endeavour, among other objects, to ascertain the extent of
Japanese penetration in Portuguese Timor and the attitude of the
Portuguese authorities towards foreign concessions. Both of these
questions are of great interest to the Commonwealth Government.

I am enclosing questionnaires (Annexes 'A' [1] and 'B' [2]) from
the Department of Defence and the Department of External Affairs
respectively. You will note that Annex 'A' relates to defence
matters and Annex 'B' to the Staughton concessions.

I fully realise that Mr Lambert may experience considerable
difficulty in obtaining answers to the questions raised, but I
would be grateful for any information which he might reasonably be
able to obtain on any of the points enumerated.

1 Not printed. This document, approved by the Defence Committee on
22 November 1937 (minute 44), requested information on the extent
of foreign influence in Portuguese Timor and technical details
concerning aviation facilities (including geographical and
meteorological conditions), harbours and shipping, resources,
internal security and relations with Dutch Timor (see AA : A981,
Timor (Portuguese) 22, ii).

2 Attached below to this Document.

Annex B

Questionnaire on Staughton Concessions

n.d. [C. 26 November 1937]

1. Have the Staughton Concessions been definitely and formally
2. What work, if any, is being done to comply with the conditions
of the concessions?
3. Is the Timor Government still accepting lease payments in
respect of these concessions?
4. If the concessions have not been cancelled, but are subject to
cancellation, what immediate action is required by Staughton to
keep them alive?
5. Is there a possibility of Staughton or his nominee being
granted an additional prospecting area to that covered by the
present concessions? If this is so, what might be the extent of
the area and what would be the conditions of such grant?

[AA : A981, TIMOR (PORTUGUESE) 22, ii]

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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