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308 Bruce to Curtin

Cablegram [199A] [1] LONDON, 21 October 1943, 7.50 p.m.


The Portuguese Ambassador [2] called to see me somewhat urgently
last night as he is leaving on a short visit to Lisbon to-day. He
told me that his Government had received reports that in certain
sections of the Australian Press there had been statements to the
effect that after the war the Australian flag should fly over

I told the Ambassador that I had heard no reports of this kind. If
such statements had been made they were Press statements and
entirely [unofficial]. I reminded him that with his long
experience of this country he would know to what extent the Press
here was free. Our Australian Press, I continued, was just as free
and if anything rather more outspoken. I told him that he could
advise his Government that they need have no apprehensions
whatsoever about Portuguese Timor. The Commonwealth Government had
given certain undertakings [3] and the Portuguese Government could
rest assured that we would live up to them.

I then went on to say that he would realize that the whole area
north of Australia was a matter of the greatest concern to us and
that after the war we would undoubtedly contemplate the closest
co-operation by the Portuguese Government with ourselves in regard
to defence of that area and also with regard to questions of
communications, transport and trade. The Ambassador replied that
that was equally the desire and hope of the Portuguese Government,
and we had a long and friendly general conversation before he


1 Material in square brackets has been corrected from Bruce's copy
on file AA:M100, October 1943. The Canberra copy was numbered 189.

2 The Duke of Palmela.

3 See Document 234.

[AA:A816, 19/301/821]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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