114 Ballard to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 224 BATAVIA, 14 July 1947


1. In spite of the narrowness of the gap between Dutch and Republican positions at the present time, there is still considerable uneasiness.

2. The Dutch are maintaining a very intransigent attitude and emphasising the necessity for acts showing the good faith of the other side before they will consider taking steps to get the interim government going.

3. Beel's statement [1] was followed by a broadcast by Van Mook on the same lines, and Soekarno replied in a broadcast on 11 July emphasising that 'all objections put forward by the Dutch can be eliminated and other things desired by them which may relieve the tension can be realised', but maintaining that 'the instrument for preservation of peace and order in Republican territories remains in hands of Republic' though under 'joint command together with other states of Indonesia and the Dutch'.

4. Republic has abolished Republican governors of areas outside Republic and Gani says he is going to lift food blockade at Medan, but apparently Van Mook insists on a unilateral withdrawal to garrisons of Indonesian forces, and 'stopping the shooting', which he says proceeds wholly from Indonesians, before establishment of interim government. Republican authorities are considering how far they can carry their people with them and how far they are justified taking the risk if they concede this. Sjarifoeddin is expected in Batavia today.

5. It is noteworthy that recent steps in negotiations have not been between the delegations, but between the N.E.I. government and the government of the Republic. It is not clear what inferences are to be drawn from this. Possibly it is mixed up with political considerations in Holland.

1 In a statement to the States-General on 10 July, Beef gave a survey of recent negotiations with the Republic of Indonesia and stated that while the latest clarification of the Indonesian position (see Document 112) was not satisfactory in every respect, the Netherlands Government was prepared to view it as 'a turn for the better' provided there was an immediate cessation of hostilities, including demolitions and hostile propaganda. Beef also called for the immediate cessation of Republican infiltrations and any other action which encroached upon the other states of Indonesia; the termination of 'irregular foreign relations'; the raising of the food blockade of non-Republican territories; and the restoration of traffic across demarcation lines. Lastly Beef required full acceptance 'very shortly' of the five points set out in Van Mook's communication of 29 June (see Document 106). Only on such a basis could the Netherlands Government proceed to implement the Linggadjati Agreement.

[AA:A4355/2, 7/1/6/1]