18 Lt Col W. R. Hodgson, Secretary of Department of External Affairs, to Department

Cablegram 60 LONDON, 23 or 24 April 1937

SECRET

An official report has been circulated that Japanese interests have been negotiating for, and are about to conclude the purchase of a large company in Timor, the owner of which is Celestino da Silva. In view of this report instructions have been given to His Britannic Majesty's Ambassador at Lisbon [1] to point out to the Portuguese Government what a bad impression this transaction would make on His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Foreign Office is of opinion that it might be useful if the Commonwealth Government were to associate itself with the representations which the Ambassador is making, preferably at the same time as he makes them, should that be the wish of the Commonwealth Government and provided that it is able to decide before the Ambassador acts. He will probably approach the Portuguese Government on 27th April.

HODGSON

1 Sir Charles Wingfield.

[AA : A981, TIMOR (PORTUGUESE) 22, ii]