192 Department of External Affairs to Ballard and Officer

Cablegrams 208, 96 CANBERRA, 30 July 1947, 12.15 p.m.


We have today instructed the Australian Representative on the Security Council to draw the attention of the Security Council to the situation in Indonesia under Article 39. [1]

2. My immediately following telegram contains text of statement to be issued in Canberra at 4 p.m. today. [2] This explains why Article 39 and not Article 34 has been referred to.

3. The Dutch Legation at Canberra has been informed. it should be emphasised to Dutch authorities that this action has been taken only after every endeavour in consultation with other Governments has been made for mediation in accordance with Article 33 of the Charter [3] and because the way in which the situation has developed has made it a matter of vital international concern.

4. It is our intention in the Security Council to avoid and to persuade other Governments to avoid any debate or judgment on the merits of the case and to ask for an immediate decision that hostilities shall cease and that the two parties shall be referred to Article 17 of the Linggadjati Agreement. If the merits of the case are to be discussed by anyone it will then be the third party contemplated in Article 17 of that Agreement.

5. If in the Security Council difficulties are raised over procedure, it would be impossible to avoid discussions on merits and we hope therefore that Dutch authorities will appreciate the manner in which we are putting this matter forward and use their good offices to facilitate the passage of the decision for hostilities to cease and negotiations to commence in the way in which they had previously agreed that action should be taken in the event of any dispute.

6. The Australian Government has at all times maintained a perfectly neutral attitude and this action is equally neutral and it will continue to adopt such an attitude having one desire only and that is an immediate cessation of hostilities in a country bordering on Australia and the adoption of a procedure likely to bring about a long term peaceful settlement.

1 See Document 190.

2 See Document 195.

3 Article 33 of the United Nations Charter requires that parties to any dispute likely to endanger international peace and security should first seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice. The Security Council may, when it deems necessary, call upon parties to settle their dispute by such means.

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