164 Attlee to Chifley

Cablegram 155 LONDON, 25 July 1947, 7.15 p.m.


I have seen the telegrams exchanged during the last few days between the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and the Australian Government on the subject of Indonesia. [1]

As you know, we have been putting pressure on the Dutch as well as the Indonesians to settle their differences. We are now considering, with the United States Government, whether we can together make an attempt at mediation and arbitration. We feel it our duty to try to secure a direct settlement according to the spirit of the Charter before the matter is referred to any other body. We. have kept the Australian Government fully informed throughout these negotiations. We are very conscious of Australian proximity to Indonesia, of her consequent interest in all that happens there, and it is of course for the Australian Government to do what they think right. But the situation is also a difficult one for us in view of our vital responsibilities in that area and of the task of mediation which devolved upon us at the time of the Japanese surrender.

The Indian Government is now pressing us to offer mediation together with the United States Government. This seems to us an additional argument for taking no further action until we see whether the United States are prepared to respond to our latest proposal. If they are not, a new situation will be created and we shall of course consult with you immediately. It is the fact that preliminary United States reactions are not particularly favourable but they have promised full consideration of our proposal and it remains to be seen what their final view will be.

1 Documents 131, 145, 150 and 151 and possibly Document 155.

[AA:A1838/274, 854/10/4, i]