Report by Forsyth

Extract [CANBERRA], 1 October 1945


Report by Political Adviser attached to Commander, Australian Forces in Timor (September 20th-27th, 1945) 1. Political Adviser, assistant and interpreter [1] arrived at Koepang 11.20 a.m. 21st September and after consultations with Brigadier Dyke went to Dilli by flyingboat the following morning where together with Major Baillieu of Brigadier Dyke’s staff they had an informal talk with the Governor. [2] The talk showed promise that the instructions in War Cabinet’s directions of 18th and 19th September could be carried out. [3] The Governor agreed to receive Brigadier Dyke for official discussions the following morning, 23rd September. The party returned to Koepang to inform Brigadier Dyke and to return with him.

2. Brigadier Dyke with five Australian corvettes arrived at Dilli at 10.15, 23rd September and was received by the Governor at 11.45. The Australian Commander formally notified the Governor of the surrender of the Japanese forces in Timor (including those which had operated in Portuguese territory) at Koepang on 11th September; congratulated the Governor on the restoration of his authority; and requested an opportunity for a public announcement.

Discussion of arrangements for making the surrender effective then commenced.

3. Discussion resulted in the Agreement [4] annexed which contains principles permitting action necessary to make the Japanese surrender fully effective in respect of Portuguese Timor. Local agreement and arrangements proved possible in regard to disposal of Japanese, enemy war material, Allied prisoners of war and internees, and Australian war graves. In regard to war crimes, however, it was found necessary to refer the question to the Australian and Portuguese Governments.

4. The Governor entertained the Australian party of eleven at a formal luncheon with his family and officials. In the afternoon Australian officers and personnel were landed and began practical work in connection with enemy material, war graves, and a survey of the situation as a preliminary to further tasks.

5. On 24th September work proceeded: e.g. Japanese brought ammunition by truck to the waterside, natives carried it to barges and assisted Japanese to dump it out at sea; dumps, dismantled guns and other equipment were inspected; some interrogations were made.

6. In order to mark publicly the association of Australia with the liberation of Portuguese Timor, a ceremony was arranged for 4.30 p.m., 24th September (see (2) above) on shore at which in the presence of sixty Australian naval and military personnel, Portuguese officials, natives and townspeople, the Australian Commander and the Governor made speeches and laid wreaths in honour respectively of the victims of Japanese aggression and of the Australians who fell in Portuguese Timor. In the evening the Governor and his Aide dined with the Brigadier, the naval officer commanding, and the Political Adviser.

7. The Political Adviser, his assistant and interpreter left Dilli at 3 p.m., 25th September for Darwin, it being the opinion of the Commander of Timforce that the political mission had been successfully completed.

[matter omitted]


1 Forsyth’s assistant and interpreter were respectively H.B.

Manderson and Dr Carlos Brandao.

2 Manuel de Abreu Ferreira de Carvalho.

3 See Document 245, note 5.

4 Signed 24 September. On file AA : A1838/2, 377/3/3/2.


[AA : A1838/2, 377/3/3/2]