237 Department of External Affairs to Ballard

Cablegram 216 CANBERRA, 4 August 1947, 4.25 p.m.


You are well acquainted with our views and the dangers we anticipate if the decision of the Security Council is not carried out by both parties. Australian reputation is high with Indonesians and, therefore, we can help. You should not hesitate to act on your own initiative in any way which would assist the Indonesians in understanding the position and assisting the termination of hostilities. Meanwhile, we are doing what we can through the Secretary-General of the United Nations [1] and by direct communications. [2] In particular, inform Gani that question of withdrawal of forces can be first matter negotiated on. He might also ask Dutch to lend plane or give passage to Indonesian plane which can reach local commanders. Any delay in cessation by Indonesians will greatly damage their position at Security Council in the future if need arises to refer the matter again.

1 See Document 236.

2 This is apparently a reference to a statement drafted in the Department of External Affairs and telephoned to Radio Australia in the afternoon of 4 August for broadcast in Dutch and Malay. The statement noted both the Dutch intention to cease hostilities at midnight and the Republic of Indonesia's commitment to carry out decisions of the Security Council. The statement concluded with the following sentence added by Burton: 'It is felt that any failure by either party to carry out the decision of the United Nations will do great harm in the eyes of the Security Council to whichever party is responsible.'

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