Skip to main content

Historical documents

300 Mr David Ross, U.K. Consul in Dili, to Department of External Affairs

Radio message unnumbered DILI, 25 January 1942, 10.29 p.m.

Received 25 January 1942


When we evacuate our troops from Dilli Japanese now interned must
be released and their Consul [1] will telegraph immediately full
particulars and general situation to Tokyo via Macao. My primary
duties were the promotion of good relations with Portuguese and
observation of Japanese influence here but neither are of any
value now. Portuguese have agreed to ask for assistance if the
Japanese attack, so local friendly relations or otherwise cannot
influence instructions to this effect issued by the Portuguese
Government in Lisbon to the local Governor. [2] Japanese influence
has benefited greatly owing to our violation of Portuguese
territory but it cannot increase under war conditions. Twenty-four
Japanese have been interned under bad conditions without any
international legal right and will bear personal as well as
political malice. This, together with feeling of political victory
and Latin [3] connections amongst senior Portuguese administrative
officers including military reinforcements expected from Africa,
will make official position here untenable for white British
officers and Dutch. I would appreciate early indication of your
views. [4]

1 Tokitaro Kuroki.

2 M. de A. Ferreira de Carvalho.

3 The original was here annotated 'group mutilated'.

4 Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs, replied on 26
January that he appreciated the difficult position Ross would be
placed in by the withdrawal of Allied forces, but that be
considered it would then be even more important for the
Commonwealth Govt to have proper representation in Dili 'in order
particularly to give due notice of likely unfavourable
developments'. See radio message 5 on file AA:A981, Timor
(Portuguese) 3, i.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top