Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 17 November 1976


Mr UREN (Reid) -Yesterday the Fraser Cabinet decided to prevent Telecom, Darwin, from passing on telegrams from the Fretilin forces in East Timor. These Telecom messages are the only way in which the Australian people and the world can find out what is happening in East Timor. For example, we received a message on 11 November from Fretilin giving an account of heavy fighting near Nassuta, 15 kilometres south-west of Dili. The report stated that infighting there between 8 and 15 October, 140 Indonesian soldiers were killed. This indicates a high level of fighting. That these reports must be substantially accurate is indicated by recent Australian Press reports. On 2 1 October in the Canberra Times Bruce Juddery reported a joint intelligence organisation survey of the situation in East Timor. As we would expect from this agency, their report was proIndonesian. Nonetheless if we read between the lines the Indonesian's military situation is grim in

East Timor. Mr Juddery's report stated that the Joint Intelligence Organisation believed that the Indonesians controlled only half the area and half the people in East Timor. This is a dramatic confirmation of the Fretilin report of fighting within 15 kilometres of Dili. The JIO report also notes that Indonesia has withdrawn some troops from East Timor. This confirms Press reports that the Indonesians have had troubles in their troops ' morale in East Timor.

I have drawn attention to the military situation in East Timor because I want to make one basic point. That is that the Fraser Government's hopes that Fretilin will disappear are false. Recently the National Miner of 1 November claimed that natural resource diplomacy was emerging as a major factor in shaping Australia 's policy towards Indonesia. That paper reported that the Indonesian generals have indicated through diplomatic channels that Australian companies with mineral and petroleum concessions in East Timor will be welcome to stay provided they negotiate their rights with the Indonesian Government.

Also the Age newspaper last month reported that the Australian Indonesian Business Cooperation Committee had urged the Government to recognise the attempted Indonesian annexation of East Timor. The Bank of New South Wales, the Australia and New Zealand Bank, the Colonial Sugar Refining Company Ltd, Blue Metal Industries Ltd and the Australian Wheat Board and the Australian Dairy Board are among the members of this committee. From these reports we get some idea of the forces behind this Government's betrayal of the people of East Timor. The Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Peacock) claims that we have not extended de facto or de jure recognition of the Indonesian invasion but that we recognise 'realities'. May I say that this is just semantics.

If we look at the actions of the Government over the last few months we see what these 'realities' have led to. Aid has been given to the Indonesian Red Cross despite reports that this aid is finding its way to Indonesian military forces. Rogerio Lobarto, the Minister for National Defence, and Mari Alkatiri, the Minister for Political Affairs, of the Democratic Republic of East Timor have been refused entry visas into Australia. Mr Chris Santos has been refused permanent residency status in Australia. Military aid to Indonesia continues. Recently an Indonesian military mission came here for discussions. Timorese refugees from Indonesia's unprovoked aggression have been refused special consideration for migration to Australia.

These actions are further evidence of our sell out of East Timor. They go beyond recognising realities' to encouraging so-called 'realities'. This Government reveals its true colours and it stands condemned by all enlightened people who seek peace and justice for all the people of Australia.







Suggest corrections