274 Mr A. W. Fadden, Acting Prime Minister, to Lord Cranborne, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs

Cablegram 80 6 February 1941,

SECRET

Portuguese Timor. Reference my telegram 767 [1] December 30th last. You will no doubt be already aware of communications from External Affairs Officer [2] to Foreign Office on question of representation in Portuguese Timor arising out of Batavia telegram 188 of December 10th last addressed to Foreign Office. [3]

Commonwealth Government has now decided that if Portuguese Government is agreeable the best means of meeting requirements would be appointment of Official Representative of Commonwealth of Australia at Dilli. We do not consider circumstances justify establishment by the Commonwealth of regular Consulate at Dilli to which would also attach serious objection that it would make it impossible for Portuguese Government to continue to resist pressure from Japan for opening of Japanese Consulate. On the other hand we feel that a representative without official status at all, as has been suggested, might be unable to maintain contact with Portuguese authorities necessary for political functions as distinct from technical functions connected with Darwin-Dilli air service. In reaching this conclusion we have in mind, while recognising that there is no exact analogy, the successful arrangement arrived at in the case of New Caledonia by appointment of an Official Australian Representative with similar elastic status.

Would appreciate therefore if His Majesty's Ambassador at Lisbon [4] could be instructed to communicate this proposal to Portuguese Government with view to obtaining their assent as soon as possible.

FADDEN

1 This is an incorrect reference to cablegram 676, printed as Document 241.

2 A. T. Stirling.

3 See Document 257, note 1.

4 Sir Ronald Campbell.

[AA:A981, AUSTRALIA 248]