367 Officer to Evatt [1]

Ministerial Despatch Hag 26/47 THE HAGUE, 8 October 1947


I have the honour to advise that a strictly confidential report has reached me according to which the Dutch Government recently approached the Portuguese Government with a view to enlisting their support in the prevention of any possible anti-Dutch propaganda in Timor.

2. It would appear that the Dutch fear that agent provocateurs from the Indonesian Republic will launch a campaign of incitement against the Dutch among the Timorese and that they will possibly conduct their activities from the Portuguese part of Timor. The exact preventative measures envisaged by the Dutch are not known but it is believed that they include discussions and co-operation between local Dutch and Portuguese Intelligence services.

3. The Portuguese, possibly fearing repercussions in their territory, readily agreed and even advanced a proposal of joint action by the combined gendarmeries, should trouble occur in any part of Timor, whether Dutch or Portuguese.

4. This proposal was regarded by the Dutch Government as too drastic and negotiations are still proceeding. The Dutch hope for an agreement in line with their original approach.

5. I would stress that this report came to me in the strictest confidence from a non-Dutch source who had had it from a source that should be well-informed. I pass it on for what it is worth but would emphasise that it should be treated as most confidential.

1 Addressed to Evatt in Canberra. Chifley was Acting Minister for External Affairs in Evatt's absence.

[AA:A4231/2, 1947 THE HAGUE, i]