297 Brookes to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 112 BATAVIA, 8 June 1946


Further to my telegram 102. [1] Sjahrir has returned from Central Java with the bulk of his Cabinet. I went to say goodbye to Sjahrir and he asked me to convey the request set out below to the Australian Government.

2. Whilst in the interior Dr. Sjahrir and the Indonesian Cabinet discussed the question of U.N.O. action to resolve the future of Indonesia.

The Cabinet unanimously authorised Sjahrir to approach the Australian Government and to ask whether Australia would be prepared to raise the matter of Self Government of Indonesia especially in reference to Java and Sumatra with U.N.O. [2] The Indonesian Cabinet believes that the present situation in Indonesia is a threat to world peace and could be legally raised in U.N.O. on those grounds.

The Indonesian counter proposals [3] are on the lines of the draft agreement made under the Chairmanship of Clark Kerr [4] but they believe it is most unlikely that the Dutch will accept these and that fighting may break out at any time. Sporadic fighting on the perimeter continues.

The Indonesian Cabinet request that the matter be raised irrespective of the Dutch reactions to their counter proposals.

Sjahrir gave me a personal letter [5] to this effect and which I am bringing to Australia with me.

3. Sjahrir also said:-

(a) That the situation in Sumatra was well in hand from the viewpoint of the Indonesian Government and that representatives here were obeying orders from the Government in Java;

(b) The T.R.I. in Java were more and more under control but there was still much to be done in this regard;

(c) That if U.N.O. and negotiations with the Dutch failed the Indonesians proposed to fight a defensive war;

(d) The reformation of Cabinet is of no real significance;

(e) Soewandi [6] has definitely resigned and will probably accept a position as Secretary of one of the Indonesian Government Departments.

4. I have informed MacKereth regarding the above.

1 See Document 279, note 1.

2 See Document 291.

3 These were: conclusion of a treaty according de facto recognition to the government of the Indonesian republic; a Netherlands guarantee of co-operation in the establishment of an Indonesian free sure which would enter into an alliance with the Netherlands; cessation of hostilities, with both sides 4 See Document 177.

5 Document 291.

6 R. Soewandi, Republican Minister for Justice.

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