201 Commonwealth Government to Mr David Ross, U.K. Consul in Dili

Radio message 3 [1] CANBERRA, 18 December 1941

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Glad if you would convey following message to Governor of Timor [2] in answer to cablegram received from him today. [3]

(Begins) In reply to your communication Commonwealth Government regrets that in order defend against Japanese aggression it has been found necessary to prevent Japanese breach neutrality in Timor. We assure you Portuguese sovereignty will not be impaired and in fact it is to defend that sovereignty as well as to prevent Japanese aggression that our forces have co-operated with Netherlands Government in taking this action. Commonwealth Government desire to assist in every way possible regarding administration and economic life of colony. (Ends)

1 Ross had been advised on 17 December that the Air Board had instructed Air Intelligence, Darwin, to transmit messages directly between himself and the External Affairs Dept in Canberra. See radio message 2 on file AA:A981, Timor (Portuguese) 3, i.

2 M. de A. Ferreira de Carvalho.

3 See Document 200, note 2.

[AA:A981, TIMOR (PORTUGUESE) 3, i]