47 Cablegram to Canberra

New York, 14 October 1974


Fourth Committee—Portuguese Timor

Following is the text of paragraph on Portuguese Timor from the Statement by Indonesia in Fourth Committee on 14 October in the general debate on the Portuguese territories.


Finally, Mr Chairman, my delegation would like to refer to the Statement made this morning by the distinguished representative of Australia with regard to Portuguese Timor. As to the possibility of that territory to be united with Indonesia, my delegation would like to state briefly that Indonesia would like to see an orderly and peaceful development in Portuguese Timor, one which will enable the people to exercise the right of self-determination, in accordance with the declaration on the granting of independence to colonial peoples and territories, to which Indonesia consistently adheres. There is indeed a desire among the people of Portuguese Timor to be reunited with the people of Indonesia after a period of 400 years of separation imposed upon them by colonial domination. Therefore, if, as a result of the exercise of their right to self-determination, the people of Portuguese Timor wish to unite with Indonesia, we are prepared to co-operate with them in its realization. Such an association should, in the view of the Indonesian Government, be in conformity with the 1945 Constitution of Indonesia, which inter alia decides that Indonesia is a unitary state.


  1. The Indonesians apparently had some last minute instruction from Jakarta modifying an earlier text. On the one hand the reference to Resolution 1514 was inserted thereby acknowledging the right to independence and on the other hand, the reference inserted to the Indonesian constitution and to Indonesia as a unitary state points towards a tighter rather than a looser association with Indonesia.

[matter omitted]1

[NAA: A10463, 801/13/ll/1, iii]