70-Record-of-Conversation-with-Habib-and-Moerdani

Canberra, 6 January 1975

CONFIDENTIAL

EXTRACT

Notes on Discussions held by Sir Arthur Tange in Indonesia, December 19741

Indonesian Intentions Towards Portuguese Timor

In separate discussions with Hasnan Habib and Moerdani I worked around to the future possibilities in Portuguese Timor in order to make the point that, in the event that force were used as a solution, Australian public opinion would make it very difficult for the Minister for Defence to sustain the Defence co-operation programme (including Defence aid) with Indonesia that has developed so well.

I opened the discussion by enquiring what estimate they made of the sort of government that would be in office in Lisbon and at the same time made the point used by Mr Whitlam with President Suharto---no Australian objective in the Territory, we see its destiny as lying in Indonesia's world, the process is important to us and there must be evidence of acquiescence by the citizens.

General Hasnan Habib listened attentively enough but made no particular comment on my remarks.

General Moerdani did not comment on what I had said but spoke of the difficulties in the situation for Indonesia and said quite plainly that Indonesia intended to acquire control. The tone was tough and unqualified.

[NAA: A10463, 801113/1111, v]