394 Letter from Feakes to Dan

Canberra, 6 January 1976


In Dick Woolcott's absence from Jakarta you may like to see the attached copy of a submission on Portuguese Timor that we prepared in some haste just before Christmas.1 The Minister, who asked for the submission, has not yet pronounced on it and will, I think, need to discuss it with the Prime Minister. But there are signs that some at least of the ideas in the submission have been accepted by the Minister. You will have noticed, for instance, from telegram O.CH305491 of 6 January2 that the Minister does not feel that Australia should become a party principal in Timor.

Our submission, I think, fits in well enough with the main ideas in your telegram O.JA39813 of 5 January, which we were very glad to have. A continuing difference between the Department-and, I believe, the Minister-on the one hand, and the Embassy in Jakarta on the other, relates to the extent to which it is possible or desirable for Ministers here to come out directly to help in redressing the anti-Indonesian pro-FRETILIN bias in public statements from some quarters.

I wonder whether you would show the attached submission to Dick when he gets back to Jakarta. I need scarcely add that I should not want the submission referred to in ordinary correspondence or in cables between the Embassy and the Department.4

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