291 Sjahrir to Brookes

Letter DJAKARTA, 5 June 1946

I am so sorry that you are leaving us. I hope that there is still a chance that you will come back after having taken some rest.

At the cabinet meeting in the interior we discussed the latest Dutch proposals [1] and we agreed to put forward counterproposals embodying the same standpoint we had during the negotiations with the Dutch in Djakarta [2], when Sir Archibald Clark Kerr was here and also during the talks in Holland with the Dutch cabinet.

We all think it most unlikely that the Dutch will accept these counterproposals and that fighting may break out at any time. As you know sporadic fighting continues everywhere in the surroundings of the allied occupied areas. Last week I lost a relation of mine in the Tangerang area.

In view of the possibility of a definite breakdown of the negotiations and of the outbreak of a large scale fighting, we discussed at the cabinet meeting possible ways to avoid this bloodshed. I proposed to approach the Australian Government and to ask whether Australia would be prepared to raise our question before the UNO on the terms of the draft agreement made under the chairmanship of Sir Archibald Clark Kerr. You know what they are.

This proposal of mine was unanimously accepted by the cabinet. We also agreed that the matter could be raised in the UNO irrespective of the Dutch reactions to our counterproposals, because there is an apparent tendency that the Dutch would again drag on, while the danger of more and violent fighting is increasing every day.

Could you do something for us on these lines? We would be very grateful.

I hope you will have a good journey and that we will see you back soon. [3]

Good bye.


1 See Document 262.

2 See Document 177.

3 Brookes was in poor health and was advised by medical authorities that he 'should do no further work in [the] tropics'.

He arrived in Canberra on 10 June.

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