302 Addison to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram D1893 LONDON, 10 October 1945, 9.25 p.m.

TOP SECRET

My telegram 2nd October, D.1848, Java. [1]

The Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs has spoken to the Foreign Secretary regarding the situation in the Netherlands East Indies.

2. Mr. Van Kleffens said that had his Government realised when they concluded the Civil Affairs Agreement with us (My telegram of 25th August D.1557 [2]) that available British troops were insufficient to occupy the Territories and maintain order, they would have pressed still more strongly than they already had for the despatch of Dutch forces. The Netherlands Government had learned with surprise of the proposal to enter into relations with Dr. Soekarno. Dutch authority was being undermined and while the people of Holland fully recognised their debt to this country, they felt in this matter that they had been badly let down. In particular, Mr. Van Kleffens urged the necessity of our taking action- (A) To restore to the Netherlands Government the Dutch shipping at present under Allied control and (B) To take necessary measures to ensure the safety of Dutch white people now in internment camps outside areas occupied by the Allied troops in Java.

3. Mr. Bevin pointed out that the end of the war with Japan had come in very different circumstances from those which had been expected and we were faced with every problem at once, not only in the Netherlands East Indies, but in Burma, Malaya, Siam and Indo China. The action of the local commanders must be suited to the forces available. He undertook, however, to go very carefully into the whole question.

1 Document 289.

2 On file AA : A1838/2, 403/2/1/1.

[AA : A1838/2, 403/2/1/1]