Mr R.R. Sedgwick, Official Secretary of U.K. High Commission in Australia, to Mr F. Strahan, Secretary of Prime Minister's Department

Letter CANBERRA, 21 March 1939


I am directed by the High Commissioner [1] to refer to the Commonwealth Government’s telegram No. 10 of the 31st January to the Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs regarding oil concessions in Timor [2], and to state that His Majesty’s Ambassador at Lisbon [3] has been instructed to make representations as requested in the Commonwealth Government’s telegram under reference.

The High Commissioner has been requested by his Government to add, for the very secret information of the Commonwealth Government, that the following telegram was sent to the Ambassador on the 16th March:-

‘Please press Portuguese Government for a reply, intimating to them at the same time that disquieting rumours have once more begun to reach me to the effect that negotiations are proceeding between Portuguese authorities and Japanese company. You should express the hope that there has been no change in the general attitude of the Portuguese Government towards Japanese penetration and (? group omitted) does not indicate any intention to deny to Oil Search the facilities for which they and the Commonwealth Government are asking.’



1 Sir Geoffrey Whiskard.

2 Document 15.

3 Sir Walford Selby.