853F.01/9–1245: Telegram

The Chargé in Portugal (Crocker) to the Secretary of State

1924. ReEmbs 1904, September 10.43 This afternoon Mathias called me to Foreign Office to say that Australian Foreign Minister’s Deputy in London told Portuguese Ambassador on September 10 his Government wished to land Australian troops on Portuguese Timor immediately. Invoking Santa Maria–Timor agreement and pointing out that their agreed-upon direct participation in liberation Timor has been delayed through no fault of their own, Mathias expressed his Government’s deep concern at this Australian proposal. He emphasized Portugal’s desire to regain military control of Timor with Portuguese troops now en route. Portuguese Government is fully prepared formal surrender should be made by Japanese forces on Timor to Australian Delegation either in Timor itself or elsewhere. Stressing Portuguese sovereignty and sensibilities, however, Mathias made it abundantly clear Portuguese would resist by every diplomatic means at their disposal landing of Australian or other foreign troops on this territory.

British have been called in to receive similar emphatic representation and are placing matter before London. Palmella is likewise being directed to state Portuguese position to Australians in London.

Portuguese represent matter as of utmost urgency and have solicited our good offices. We may, therefore, expect them to importune us for an early expression of Department’s views.

Sent Department; repeated London as 444.

  1. Not printed; the Chargé reported that the Foreign Office had informed him that Portuguese control had been reestablished in Timor (851F.01/9–1045).