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Historical documents

1 Commonwealth Government to Cranborne

Cablegram 2 CANBERRA, 2 January 1944


Your D.1190 and your No. 398. [1]

1. The Australian Government regards it as essential that there

should be a frank understanding of the arrangement made in London

in July between Mr. Churchill, Mr. Eden, Mr. Attlee and Dr. Evatt

in relation to the protection of Australian postwar interests in

Timor including Defence, Trade and Communications. [2] We cannot

forget that no assistance whatever was received by us from

Portugal at the crucial time and even if Portugal now proposes to

engage in active combat With Japan the arrangement made is

necessary to protect our interests.

2. in the circumstances we regret that your proposed communication

to the United States Government was not submitted to us in the

first instance. For instance the phrase 'The Liberation of Timor'

might suggest to the United States an absolute restoration of

Portuguese sovereignty without any of the necessary qualifications

or addenda. Presumably Australia's special interests, having

already been made clear to the Portuguese, will be made equally

clear to the United States Government.

3. With regard to Staff conversations we are quite prepared to

take part in these.

1 Dispatched 29 and 28 December respectively. On file AA:A989,

E43-44/970/54. These cablegrams advised of U.K. proposals to the

United States concerning the 'considerable advantages' of

Portugal's entry into the war against Japan, and urged staff talks

in London by U.K., U.S., Portuguese and Australian officers to

'draw up a plan of Portuguese co operation in the war against


2 See Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. VI,

Documents 233-4.

[AA:A989, 43-44/970/54]

Last Updated: 2 February 2011
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