251 Brookes to Dunk

Cablegram 90 BATAVIA, 18 May 1946, 4 p.m.


Part I. JAVA.

1. Sjahrir for the first time against his previously declared policy which he has stubbornly maintained against pressure from the Indonesians is afraid that the time will come when he and his Government will have to leave Batavia. This change of view is due to:

(a) The increasing build up of Dutch Forces.

(b) Lack of confidence in further negotiations with Dutch.

(c) Reports of the imminent departure of British troops.

(d) The fact that the Dutch are pressing for requisitioning of buildings at present occupied by three important Indonesian Government Ministers. These buildings were Dutch official buildings before the war.

2. Sjahrir is very annoyed that Soekarno left Solo on tour just before his arrival. This seems to be typical of Soekarno's fence sitting tactics.

3. It is now disclosed that the outcome of the Communist party meeting on 29th April was the election of Sardjono, Indonesian Australian deportee, to lead the party. Sardjono served under me for a time during the war.

4. Dutch protests against British policy continue to pour in.

5. Sjahrir has agreed to see Van Mook unofficially at Special Allied Liaison Office.

6. Sjahrir is not at all optimistic about the outcome of further negotiations. He says he is afraid that in the event of the withdrawal of British troops from Java Indonesian military leaders will fight the Dutch and they are confident that they can defeat them. Military opinion here does not place such a defeat beyond the bounds of possibility.

Part 2. SUMATRA 1. There is information to the effect that Hassan' [1] Hermani [2] and the People's Front express confidence in the outcome of their attempts to bring the People's Front into line with the Republican Government but that this will take some time.

2. They are not yet sure whether armed organisations of the People's Front will agree to line up with T.R.I. immediately.

3. Hermani says he thinks the situation generally can be compared to that of Java one month ago.

1 T. M. Hassan, Republican governor of Sumatra.

2 Hermani, Chief Official of the Republican Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

[AA:A1838/2, 403/3/1/1, i]