740.00119 PW/8–2045

The Portuguese Embassy to the Department of State


In order to re-establish order, rebuild communications and bring civilian and administrative activities back to normal, not to speak of supplying the population with the essentials of life, it is imperative that Portuguese troops urgently re-occupy Portuguese Timor.

In the hypothesis of a peaceful re-occupation, it is the opinion of the Portuguese Government that the operation should still fall under the general scheme of things in the Far East; it should therefore be integrated in the framework of agreements already reached with the Combined Chiefs of Staff, by the fulfilment of the applicable provisions of those agreements. Now, in such a hypothesis, Portugal would be able to do without the allocation of a training site; she would not need military and other supplies; and she would be able to provide her own transportation facilities for the troops of occupation. [Page 455] There would no longer exist, therefore, the only difficulties which, according to the most recent answer from the Combined Chiefs of Staff, still remained to be solved by later agreement among the interested countries. It would thus greatly simplify matters if the United States Government or the Combined Chiefs of Staff were to consider the announced departure for Timor of Portuguese warships as the first step in the sending of an expeditionary force, which would follow without delay.

On the other hand, there is the possibility that the Japanese should be disposed to offer resistance. In the event that this were to be verified, operations of the kind envisaged for the hypothesis of a reconquest of the island would be necessary, and Portugal would count on the support and collaboration of the Allied Powers in accordance with agreements already reached, in the conditions and at the time, that is, that the Combined Chiefs of Staff prescribe. In this hypothesis, it would be of pressing importance to conclude all necessary arrangements with the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

Finally there is always the possibility that even before the arrival of the Portuguese warships and expeditionary force, the Japanese on the island will have restored full powers of control to the Portuguese authorities in Timor, according to the announced orders of the Japanese Government. In this case, the situation would not be substantially altered since, once the territory had been re-occupied by Portugal, the supervising control of the Japanese forces by the Allies would offer no difficulty, as the liaison or necessary agreement could be arranged.

The aforesaid is, in the view of the Portuguese Government, the only practical way of solving the question in the prevailing circumstances./.