305 Letter from Kerin to Willesee

Canberra, 29 October 1975

The Committee,1 having considered recent events in East Timor submits the following resolution to you and the Caucus.

That the Caucus is of the view that

  1. Even if no Indonesian troops were involved in the fighting in East Timor, the use of Indonesian territory as a base for armed attacks is significantly contributing to prolonged fighting.
  2. Substantial evidence points to the active involvement of Indonesian personnel and equipment in the fighting in East Timor.
  3. Such activities have contributed to the deaths of the five Australian journalists who were in pursuit of the truth about the fighting.
  4. The continued public silence of the Australian Government is inconsistent with Government policy concerning the rights of nations to determine their own destiny and is contrary to the Federal A.L.P. policy.

Therefore the Caucus calls on the Cabinet to give urgent consideration to the following resolution:

  1. publicly state the view that Indonesian activity in East Timor is prolonging hostilities and obstructing the process of decolonisation and self determination;
  2. take prompt action to recover the bodies of the journalists and determine the circumstances in which these five Australian citizens died;
  3. increase official Government aid to East Timor;
  4. use its good offices to mediate between the parties involved in the dispute.

[NAA: A1838, 3038/10/1, xxxvi]