285 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram UN760 NEW YORK, 14 August 1947, 10.46 p.m.


Security 449.


1. Council has adjourned until tomorrow following excellent speech by Sjahrir.

2. Earlier the Council reversed decision o[f] 7th August [2] and decided to invite Philippines to participate. Reversal was due to switch by France, Belgium and United Kingdom, who apparently hoped by supporting Philippines, to pave the way for invitation to East Indonesia and Borneo. However, Belgian resolution to invite the latter was defeated after long procedural debate, receiving support only from 3 Colonial powers and United States. We opposed invitation to participate on the grounds that Article 32 refers only to States parties to a dispute and that admission of East Indonesia and Borneo would create undesirable precedent.

3. Chinese who ha[d] asked to speak at previous meeting was then given the Floor. Speaking to our resolution in its original form [3] he [recalled] [4] that he had supported original Australian proposal of 31st July [5] and said that if accusations and counter accusations of breaches of cease fire order continued, our whole work would be imperilled. A commission to observe and report would be very useful. He could not praise too highly the Australian resolution both for what it included and what it omitted.

4. Shahrir's speech was well put together and moderate in tone. He stressed the following points:-

(A) Fact that independence [movement] was of long standing and not simply inspired by Japanese.

(B) Dutch discouragement of independence movement.

(C) Co-operation of Republic Government in disarming of Japanese troops and evacuation of civilian internees.

(D) Progressive deterioration of situation due to constant increase in Dutch forces.

(E) Dutch delay in signing of Linggadjati agreement and insistence on unilateral Jonkman interpretation. [6]

(F) Dutch naval blockade and violations of agreement.

(G) Dutch refusal to submit disputes to arbitration.

(H) Dutch repudiation of Linggadjati agreement and unprovoked attack.

He asked for- (A) A commission to be appointed by the Security Council (1) To proceed immediately to Indonesia.

(2) To supervise implementation of the cessation of hostilities.

(3) To report on law and order in areas seized by the Dutch when withdrawal takes place of Dutch troops to positions assigned to them by the truce Agreement.

(4) To guarantee that there shall be no retaliations.

(B) A commission to arbitrate all points of dispute, as to one and only means of ensuring a peaceful and stable solution of the Indonesian question. Sjahrir added in this connection .. . 'My Government has gratefully accepted the offers of both the United States good offices, and the Government of Australia's mediation or arbitration, as a constructive step towards the setting up of such a Commission'. He said the Republic would accept 'any impartial arbitration'.

5. After Sjahrir had spoken Van Kleffens said he had some declaration to make but would not indicate its nature. The Polish Delegate also intimated that he would propose amendments to our resolution. In the circumstances as it was clear that we would not have the opportunity of submitting additions to our resolution and obtaining a vote we agreed to adjournment on condition that Council meet again tomorrow.

6. Had our resolution as originally drafted [7] been voted on there is little doubt that it would have received almost unanimous approval. This would have redounded greatly to our credit and would have left the way open for further action directed to establishment of arbitration Commission. Even United Kingdom was prepared to support resolution Provided we clarified functions of Commission of observers. However your instructions to insist on arbitration proposal [8] have caused complications. We are still in grave doubt as to how best to present our proposal. China.

Colombia and Syria will probably support it but a majority vote is doubtful. We shall, however, have additions ready for tomorrow.

1 This cablegram was received in two parts. The time given is that for the second part which was received prior to the first.

2 See Document 261.

3 See Documents 277 and 281.

4 Omitted in the cited text, the word 'recalled' has been inserted from the copy in AA:A3300/2, 441.

5 See Document 222.

6 See Document 1, note 4.

7 See Documents 277 and 281.

8 See Documents 283 and 284.

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