335 Van Aerssen to Evatt

Letter MELBOURNE, 3 November 1944

With reference to our correspondence ending with your letter of 5th April, no. 1429 [1], I have the honour to inform you that Dr.

H. J. van Mook has been appointed Lieutenant-Governor-General of the Netherlands Indies by Her Majesty's Government in London, and that he has assumed his duties since his arrival in this country on October 23rd.

The establishment of a Netherlands Indies Government, as announced and explained in my memorandum of March 8th, 1944 [2], has therefore become a fact. This Government will avail themselves with gratitude of the hospitality extended to them by the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia, and have their temporary seat in Camp Columbia, Brisbane. As a result of this change the Netherlands Indies Commission is dissolved; their functions are taken over by the Netherlands East Indies Government. The Netherlands Indies trade commissioner [3] will carry on his duties as before; his office remains at Melbourne.

The Netherlands Indies Government is composed as follows: Dr. H.

J. van Mook, Lieutenant-Governor-General; and the Heads of the Departments:

Dr. N. S. Blom, Director of Justice;

Dr. R. E. Smits, Director of Finance;

Mr. Ch. O. van der Plas, Director of Interior and Chairman of the Board of Department Heads;

Mr. P. A. Kerstens, Director of Education;

Dr. J. E. van Hoogstraten, Director of Economic Affairs and acting General Secretary of the Government;

Mr. P. H. W. Sitsen, Director of Public Works;

Lt. General L. H. van Oyen, C. in C. Netherlands Indies Army and Head of Department of War.

In order to avoid possible misunderstanding I have to add that Dr.

van Mook has retained his portfolio as Minister of the Colonies, pending the resignation of the present cabinet, which will take place shortly after its return to the liberated Netherlands. This resignation will not affect his position as Lieutenant-Governor- General unless and until the new ministry should decide otherwise.

VAN AERSSEN BEYEREN

1 Document 107. The exchange of correspondence referred to is on file AA:A989, 43-44/600/5/1/5.

2 On the file cited in note 1.

3 J. van Holst Pellekaan.

[AA:A989, 43-44/600/5/1/5]