Skip to main content

Historical documents

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

Letter (air mail) BATAVIA, 9 September 1937


I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the
18th August on the subject of developments in Portuguese Timor.


2. It is to be hoped that the steps now being taken by Mr Pascoe
will lead to effective development of the Staughton concession.

If, however, Mr Wittouck, in the name either of the Asia
Investment Company Limited or of the Allied Mining Corporation
obtains the concession for which he has applied, this would seem
likely to preclude Mr Pascoe from obtaining any larger area than
is now covered by the Staughton concessions.

3. In regard to the question whether Mr Wittouck will obtain the
concession he desires or not, the Governor of Portuguese Timor was
non-committal when he passed through Batavia. He indicated to me,
as you will have already learned from my despatches of August 30th
[2] and 31st [3], that he did not favour the development of
Timor's mining resources by one big concern alone, but he also
said that the actual grant of concessions was a matter for the
Central Government and not for him. It is thus only through Lisbon
that extra concessions could be obtained by Mr Staughton or Mr
Pascoe, though the Portuguese Government will no doubt attach
weight to the opinion of the Governor, and it would, therefore, be
well worth while for their representatives in Timor to secure his
sympathetic interest, and if possible his support, for their
application. The inadequacy of such a small area as three thousand
acres for a thorough geological survey investigation and eventual
exploitation seems a strong argument, and may receive a good
hearing if the Portuguese Government are in fact anxious to
encourage some concern other than the Allied Mining Corporation.

4. The present position of Mr Wittouck's group is, as far as I am
aware, that they are still awaiting the definite grant of their
concession by the Portuguese Government. They have spent some
fifty thousand pounds (50,000.-) on preliminary work, but work
was lately reported to be at a standstill, and the company was
said recently to be 'awaiting the official documents from the
Portuguese Government'.

5. I have recently seen a newly published report of the Allied
Mining Corporation, which purports to explain the position of this
corporation and the affiliated Asia Investment Company, presumably
for the benefit of prospective shareholders. This explanation is
summarised in the enclosed memorandum. [4]


1 Document 59.

2 Not printed.

3 Document 61.

4 Not printed.

[AA : A981, TIMOR (PORTUGUESE) 22, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top