419 Record of Conversation Between Tjan and Taylor

Jakarta, 5 February 1976

SECRET AUSTEO

EXTRACT

Timor

I noted that the Antara report of 3 February on the PGET's attitude to the Winspeare mission's proposed visit to FRETILIN-held areas and the note from the Indonesian Embassy to Winspeare on 4 February, were confusing in their contradiction.1 Apparently Winspeare too had been confused by them. Tjan said the Antara report had been based on a Radio Dili broadcast several days before. The broadcast was intended for internal consumption to inspire the pro­-Indonesian forces. At that time also several of the areas Horta hoped to get Winspeare to were not in PGET's hands. By yesterday, however, the situation on the ground had changed, and there was nowhere FRETILIN would meet Winspeare. Thus the PGET could take a more accommodating line towards the visit.2

  1. Winspeare's visit had led to a change of military tactics, Tjan said. Moerdani had wanted to force FRETILIN to surrender with the minimum of bloodshed. But the possibility of Winspeare's visit to FRETILIN-held areas had meant that, instead of forcing some towns to surrender, they had to be taken by military means. This had not proved a problem, he said.
  2. Tjan said that Sani had been reprimanded for informing the Secretary-General some time ago that Indonesia would have no objections to Winspeare's visit to East Timor. What Sani should have said, according to Tjan, was that it would be necessary for the Secretary­-General to check with the PGET about the visit and if the PGET had no objections, then Indonesia would do all it could to assist the visit.3
  3. I told Tjan that the Australian Government was serious in its policy which called for cessation of hostilities, withdrawal of Indonesian troops when law and order could otherwise be maintained, and a genuine act of self-determination.

[NAA: A10463, 801/13/11/1. xx]