388 Cablegram to Canberra

Jakarta, 19 December 1975



Portuguese Timor

  1. I asked Malik about the announcement about the 'provisional government' in Dili.1 I said that some might see this as a means of pre-empting United Nations involvement in the territory and of controlling any act of self-determination. Malik stressed that the administration was provisional. It was 'not permanent' and its task would be to prepare for an act of self­-determination. Malik said there would be a proper act of self-determination within 12 months. He added that this would apply to Occussi. Although all parties there, including Fretilin, had hoisted the Indonesian flag and sought integration, the enclave would be dealt with for purposes of an act of self-determination as part of the colony of Portuguese Timor.
  2. I asked Malik what transitional arrangements he saw between the establishment of the provisional government and the act of self-determination. What for example was Indonesia's attitude now to the idea of some form of United Nations transitional administration. Malik said a United Nations transitional administration would 'not be necessary'. (It is clear that a major purpose of the provisional administration is to preempt any United Nations administration.) The provisional government would have administrative 'assistance' from Indonesia during the transitional period. It would provide Tetum speaking Timorese officials from West Timor to help. I said that such arrangements might look suspect to the outside world. Malik said Indonesia would agree to United Nations or regional observation of an act of self-determination. He also said (although it is unlikely to be true) that Indonesia would withdraw its 'volunteers' once peace had been established and the provisional administration was working.
  3. Malik seemed more optimistic abont the outcome of the Security Council debate. He said while Indonesia had 'greatly regretted' our vote in the General Assembly before the 13 December, he had noticed a change in emphasis in our statement in the Security Council after that date. He said he was hopeful now that the Security Council would not repeat not go ahead with condemning Indonesia.

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