203 Cablegram to Canberra and Jakarta

Jakarta, 31 August 1975

Joint Statement

O.JA1547 SECRET AUSTEO IMMEDIATE

Portuguese Timor

I have just seen your O.CH261139 and O.CH261140. 1

  1. I think you should keep in mind that barring some dramatic new development Indonesia will not repeat not intervene without a Portuguese request to do so. I suspect Santos believes that if Portugal holds off for long enough Indonesia will do so. I tried to disabuse him of this view here. But if he does still hold it, then I believe he is misjudging a major aspect of the situation. From my 90 minutes talk with him here I would generally share Gouveia's opinion of Santos' approach to the issue as given to Ms Boyd. However, Dan, Taylor, and I all detected some movement in Santos' attitude as our discussion progressed.
  2. While it remains Indonesian policy to incorporate Portuguese Timor for all the reasons with which you are familiar and while most would now agree that in present circumstances this is the most logical solution to the question of Portuguese Timor's future, the President does not want to appear to be taking advantage of the present unexpected situation to achieve what was a long term goal, hopefully to be secured by a combination of covert pressures and internationally acceptable political action. In the present situation the President still has in mind the possibility of an anti-Indonesian guerrilla operation in Portuguese Timor and he is still concerned about the additional drain Timor, in its present condition, will be on Indonesia's financial resources and about Indonesia's international standing.
  3. It is for these reasons that he wants the Portuguese to ask Indonesia to intervene, that he wants as much regional and international understanding and cover for Indonesian action as possible and that he wants the Portuguese to pay the costs of such an operation or at least the major share.

WOOLCOTT

[NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1, xiii]