136. Minutes of the Secretary of State’s Staff Meeting, Washington, October 8, 1975.1 2

In Attendance - Wed., October 8, 1975

  • Secretary of State Kissinger - Chairman
  • D Mr. Ingersoll
  • P Mr. Sisco
  • T Mr. Maw
  • C Mr. Sonnenfeldt
  • AF Mr. Davis
  • ARA Mr. Rogers
  • EA Mr. Habib
  • EUP Mr. Lowenstein (Acting)
  • NEA Mr. Atherton
  • INR Mr. Hyland
  • S/P Mr. Lord
  • EB Mr. Enders
  • S/PRS Mr. Anderson
  • PM Mr. Vest
  • IO Mr. Buffum
  • H Mr. McCloskey
  • L Mr. Leigh
  • S/S Mr. Springsteen
  • S Mr. Bremer
  • S Mr. Adams
[Page 2]

[Omitted here is material unrelated to Portuguese Timor.]

MR. HABIB: It looks like the Indonesians have begun the attack on Timor — Portuguese Timor. It would seem to me clear that the Indonesian troops crossing the border would attack — the pro-Indonesian forces in the area — and have not done very well since the beginning of this thing. And this is quite something. There's an earlier case where the Indonesians are being forced to move to hold on to what they obviously are going to hold on to — that is, they are not going to let Timor become independent, sitting on the end of the Indian Archipelago.

I think what we are doing is like Jack — keeping our mouth shut about the thing.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: Is that conceivable?

MR. HABIB: We've been doing it, so I think it's quite conceivable.

SECRETARY KISSINGER: No moral —

MR. HABIB: There's not that much interest. I think they'll probably be —

SECRETARY KISSINGER: There are no moral lessons [Page 3]to be learned from this?

MR. HABIB: Yes. The moral lesson is that we have the guns to go in. (Laughter.)

We're getting a few requests for validations of passports to go to South Viet-Nam. I just wanted to check with you. These are coming fast —

SECRETARY KISSINGER: I'm assuming you're going to really keep your mouth shut on this subject.

MR. HABIB: On what?

SECRETARY KISSINGER: On this subject, on Indonesia.

Also, at the UN, Bill, will you make sure that the U.S. Mission doesn't make a statement on how the members of the 77 —

MR. HABIB: They might support it. (Laughter.)

MR. BUFFUM: Aren't they going to call us "murderers"? (Laughter.)

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Transcripts of Secretary of State Kissinger’s Staff Meetings, 1973–1977, E5177, Box 8. Secret. At the 8 a.m. meeting on October 31, Robert H. Miller, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said, “The Indonesian Foreign Minister is expected to open talks tomorrow on Timor. The pro-Indonesian forces are gradually making progress on the ground.” Kissinger remarked, “It is going to wind up with Timor going to Indonesia.” Miller replied, “I think so. Maybe within a couple of months.” (Ibid., Box 9)
  2. Habib and Kissinger discussed the situation in Portuguese Timor.