339 Department of External Affairs to Eaton

Cablegram 273 CANBERRA, 19 September 1947


It appears from reports that United States will be the third member of the Three Power Committee [1] and possibly Sayre. Do not communicate this to the Dutch as yet.

2. Our representative is not yet selected but will advise within the next few days.

3. The meeting will probably take place at Singapore and it may be inconvenient and inappropriate for Australian representative to make the journey to Djokjakarta though one of his staff could do so, if necessary. A more desirable procedure would be for the Republican authorities to send immediately to Canberra someone to discuss the work of the Committee of Three with us, but this should be done with full approval of the Dutch authorities. Please advise as to whether this is practicable.

4. In the meantime, we are giving some consideration to attitude our representative might adopt with a view to formulating a proposal acceptable to both parties.

Please ask the Dutch authorities in confidence what are their objectives from the point of administrative procedures, the type of legislative authority which might be set up in Indonesia, and the type of control over estate products and matters of this kind. They should understand that unless we are aware of their requirements, we cannot effectively assist the Committee in reaching a satisfactory settlement. If they too would desire to send someone to Canberra to discuss these matters with us, we would welcome it.

5. Please report, if possible, by Tuesday. For your own information, we have suggested time of meeting at Singapore 1st October and are proposing at the same time that it should continue for no more than ten days or two weeks when the basic plan would be formulated, and that it would meet a month or so later to review progress between the two parties and, if necessary, at similar intervals until a satisfactory solution had been assured.

1 See Document 337 and note 3 thereto.

[AA:A1838/274, 854/10/4/2, i]