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186 Lord Cranborne, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, to Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister

Cablegram 819 LONDON, 11 December 1941, 6.24 p.m.


My telegram 812 of 10th December. [1]

It is now understood that the Governor General of the Netherlands
East Indies [2] has authority from his Government to take
necessary action for the liquidating of Japanese in Portuguese
Timor and that all naval and military plans are complete. In the
light of the above and in view of the increasing urgency of the
situation, we are endeavouring if possible to eliminate delays
which might occur at the last moment if the Portuguese Governor
[3] hesitates. The Portuguese Government are accordingly being
invited to instruct their Governor immediately that he should
facilitate the task of the Dutch and Australian forces by which
assistance to Portuguese Timor would be furnished on the
assumption that the Commonwealth Government have authorised or are
authorising their commanders in Dutch Timor to send a detachment
with the Dutch troops into Portuguese Timor.

Considerable importance is attached here to the association with
any Dutch force sent to Portuguese Timor of even a very small
token force of Australians and we should be glad to learn at the
earliest possible moment whether the Commonwealth Government

We should also be glad to learn the position in respect of
Australian forces sent or being sent to Dutch Timor.

1 Document 178.

2 Jonkheer Dr A. W. L. Tjarda van Starkenborgh Stachouwer.

3 M. de A. Ferreira de Carvalho.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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