15 Commonwealth Government to Sir Thomas Inskip, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 10 31 January 1939,

Reference my 69 Timor Oil Concessions. [1] Although representations by British Embassy Lisbon were made to Portuguese Government early last August on behalf of Oil Search Ltd it is understood decision as to leases cannot be obtained from Minister for Colonies. [2] Representative of Company [3] sent specially from Australia has now been in Lisbon for five months during which time his strenuous efforts to obtain decision have been resultless. Commonwealth Government feels in national interests strong endeavour should be made to exploit oil interest by Australian enterprise and that there is justification for Portuguese Government being urged to give a decision without further delay. Would be glad if immediate representations could be made through diplomatic channel to this end.

1 See Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. 1, Document 230.

2 Dr F.J.V. Machado.

3 A.R. Dodson.

[AA: A1608, L52/1/1]