233 Ballard to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 261 BATAVIA, 4 August 1947, 2.30 a.m.


The President of the Security Council addressed an urgent message to Sjarifoeddin containing text of Security Council Resolution [1] and asking for acknowledgment.

This message received at Batavia by Cable and Wireless at midday, and in the normal course of business handed to the Dutch Post and Telegraph Service for onward delivery, was, according to addressee's copy, which I saw tonight, received in Batavia at 10 p.m. Saturday night.

House arrest of Gani [and] Tamzil was lifted this afternoon, though Indonesian Mayor of Batavia is still confined to the House.

About 8 p.m. tonight Koets delivered this message personally with letter from Van Mook to Gani, offering Dutch facilities onward transmission and Koets verbally stated there were two alternatives, radio or broadcasts. The letter added that Dutch would transmit if Indonesians could or would not.

It had been announced that Van Mook was to make a broadcast at 10 p.m. today, Sunday.

Tamzil saw me at 9 p.m. and was most disturbed. He and Gani did not want to make broadcast, fearing some trap and asked what they ought to do, but seemed to think it was essential for the message to reach Djokjakarta before 10 p.m.

I did not see his point on this but, thinking that they should not be put in a false position, advised that the position was that a message sent through postal channels had not been delivered to the addressee and they should ask the Dutch to discharge their responsibility of forwarding but strictly as between Postal Administrations, precisely as received at Batavia with all technical details and without any additions whatsoever. He appeared well pleased with this advice.

You will no doubt have a monitored report of Van Mook's speech which was to the effect that the Dutch would cease hostilities on the night of the 4th/5th August and hoped the Republic would do likewise. There was no question of withdrawing to previous positions. [2]

It will not have escaped your notice that the Republic is completely isolated, save for radio communication and that two Ministers in Batavia only [released] [3] this afternoon cannot communicate with Djokjakarta, though I believe a precarious channel exists. These two are looking for a lead on practical compliance of the Security Council's Resolution as the position appears vague.

Whether Djokjakarta. share this uncertainty I do not know, but please see monitored report of Government announcement dated August 3rd, just broadcast at 0030 hours Monday morning. This request [for] the official communication of the Security Council's Resolution, expresses willingness to cease hostilities, requests withdrawal to demarcation lines, and agree[s] to arbitration provided that the Republic is recognised as one of the parties to the dispute.

In view of Van Mook's announcement and the non-delivery of official message, ground for charges of bad faith and incapacity against the Republic, seems to be well prepared.

Time is very short but I venture to suggest that any advice you think it expedient to give to Djokjakarta directly or indirectly would be most opportune and acceptable to complete the steps you have initiated.

1 See Document 224.

2 Van Mook also said in his broadcast that while the Netherlands Government had decided to comply with the Security Council's call for a cessation of hostilities, it would continue to fulfil its responsibilities and obligations in Indonesia regarding the safety of people and property and the restoration of law and order.

3 Amended by hand. The text originally read 'seized'.

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