528 Lt Col W. R. Hodgson, Secretary of the Department of External Affairs, to Lt Gen V. A. H. Sturdee, Chief of the General Staff
Teleprinter message CS 2684 CANBERRA, 23 June 1942
MOST IMMEDIATE MOST SECRET
Your message 22nd June.  Portuguese Timor.
As Ross is under close supervision by Japanese and is not a free
agent it seems he must be under something equivalent to flag of
truce. It seems to me just that he should not violate his safe
conduct but return to his post at Dilli after full parley. Equally
it would seem wrong for him to be forcibly detained by O/C
Australian Forces.  I have consulted Minister for External
Affairs  on question. He has no definite instructions for Ross,
but would like him to be informed (a) of his appreciation of his
efforts, (b) that he is endeavouring to obtain his inclusion in
the mutual evacuation scheme for Japanese and British officials
and (c) that he can still render best service to Australia, while
he is in Timor, by remaining at Dilli and acquiring all
information he can about Japanese.
Above is subject to General MacArthur's  approval.
[AA:A981, WAR 72]