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263 Commonwealth Government to Lord Cranborne, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 37 CANBERRA, 10 January 1942


Your telegram 23 of 8th January [1], our Chiefs of Staff consider
that by the time the Portuguese troops arrive in Timor our
position at Darwin due to United States naval and air
reinforcements may be improved to such an extent that we should be
in a position to take more effective action in repelling a
Japanese attack on Timor than hitherto.

2. Therefore in view of the serious consequences which would
result due to a breach with the Portuguese, we agree with the
proposed course of action in paragraph 10 of cablegram No. 23 [2],
with the proviso that negotiation should be conducted on the basis
(a) Road between Dilli and the Dutch border should be improved.

(b) Australian troops should be camped as close to Dilli as the
Portuguese will agree.

1 On file AA:A981, Timor (Portuguese) 3, i.

2 That the U.K. Ambassador to Portugal, Sir Ronald H. Campbell,
should return immediately to Lisbon and suggest to the Portuguese
Prime Minister, Dr A. de O. Salazar, that if he were to agree to
the commencement of staff discussions the Allied Govts would at
once announce their readiness to withdraw from Timor on the
arrival of Portuguese reinforcements.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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