150 Memorandum to Canberra

New York, 27 June 1975



Committee of 24: Meetings in Lisbon, June 1975

24. We should offer one point of explanation concerning the Australian statement. Our instructions were to the effect that, with several modifications requested by the Department, we could if necessary substantially repeat the Australian statement in the Fourth Committee of UNGA 29.1 These modifications did not require any change to our reference last year to 'independence'; this had read '... the wishes of the people of the territory concerning independence should be decisive'. In the light, however, of the exchange of telegrams at the time of the Lisbon meeting, and of the text of the draft consensus on Timor as finally agreed, we drew carefully on the language of Resolution 15142 and substituted for 'independence' the formulation 'their emergence into complete freedom'. For the purposes of some future Government statement you might in fact like to look at the possibility of employing the full wording of the penultimate preambular paragraph of the Declaration on Decolonisation which proclaims the '... inalienable right (of all peoples) to complete freedom, the exercise of their sovereignty and the integrity of their national territory'. This wording could be construed to contain something of a useful ambiguity in relation to the issues of independence and integration with Indonesia.3

[NAA: A1838, 906/30/14. i]