31 Department of External Affairs to Ballard

Cablegram 63 CANBERRA, 14 April 1947

MOST IMMEDIATE TOP SECRET

For your own background information solely.

Officer reports that Netherlands Government regrets it cannot at present authorise issue of visas, and feels time is inopportune for discussions by N.E.I. authorities with third parties.

2. Netherlands Legation in Canberra will not issue visas without authority from The Hague.

3. We have instructed Officer to press for immediate re- consideration by Netherlands Government on grounds that important progress towards finality in Dutch/Indonesian negotiations has been announced, and exploratory discussions on official level, would be beneficial. Also we feel it unfortunate if, by preventing preliminary enquiries, Dutch were to hinder Australia from being first to make trade arrangements. We understand Dutch Cabinet meets this afternoon, 14th, and are awaiting Officer's reply.

Meanwhile we are making arrangements for party to reach Batavia Sunday next.

4. A.B.C. news broadcast this morning, in connection with announcement, referred to in previous paragraph, stated Dutch and Indonesians had agreed to appeal to Australian waterside workers to lift ban on Dutch shipping. Glad of urgent confirmation.

5. Glad of any information relating to week-end announcement of Van Mook's resignation and appointment of Romme. [1]

1 The report in question was incorrect. Van Mook had not resigned.

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