467 Record of Conversation Between Taylor and Tjan

Jakarta, 10 June 1976

SECRET AUSTEO

EXTRACT1

  1. Tjan then returned to the history of the Timor problem (a common theme for him nowadays). He said that while Indonesia had had to be less than honest on a public level, it had been honest with Australia privately. We had been kept fully informed on what Indonesia was doing and intended to do.At the highest level theAustralian Government had implicitly accepted Indonesian policy. Tjan referred specifically to Mr Whitlam's advice2 to Her Tasning that what he, Mr Whitlam, had told President Soeharto should not be taken as a veto on Indonesian action. At the time Mr Whitlam had said this, Tjan argued that the possibilities for Indonesian action were severely restricted and the most obvious one was the use of force. Tjan claimed that Mr Peacock whilst his party was in opposition had been informed of Indonesia's policy.3 Since becoming Foreign Minister Mr Peacock had been kept informed of Indonesia's policies: in this regard Tjan referred to General Panggabean's two briefings4 for Mr Peacock and to Mr Peacock's telling Panggabean on his visit in January that the fighting in Timor should be ended quickly.5
  2. I contested any implication that either Australian Government had condoned the use of force in Timor. I also said that I thought Mr Peacock's remark to Panggabean about finishing the fighting quickly had been misunderstood by the Indonesians. I felt sure that what Mr Peacock had had in mind was that a genuine act of self-determination should be held and the fighting stopped.

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