221 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram 416 CANBERRA, 1 August 1947, 12 noon


On reflection, it seems that just and neutral solution would be that, on cessation hostilities, Dutch forces withdraw to one point, for example Batavia, and Indonesian forces to one point, for example their capital.

2. A decision that, on cessation hostilities, forces should remain where they were at the moment would provoke strong opposition from Russia, Poland, and perhaps others and we would lose all goodwill in raising matter. It would hardly be a just determination. On the other hand, to order the redistribution of forces as at the time of outbreak of hostilities would be grossly unfair to the Dutch in that, on Dutch withdrawal, there would be Indonesian re- occupation. This would be regarded as prejudging the issue.

3. The order to cease hostilities, withdraw troops to two points as suggested above, and perhaps immediately to set about the demobilisation would be a more equitable proposal.

4. However, action you take must be related to the attitude of the members of the Security Council and developments, and therefore must be decided by yourself at the time.

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