343 Department of External Affairs to Eaton

Cablegram 275 CANBERRA, 22 September 1947


You will be commencing drafting report. You have given us very little information of significance [to] date or indication as to what might be in report, and at this stage we would like to be fully informed.

2. It would seem to us vital that report should contain firm recommendations on military situation, for example withdrawal of forces to certain positions. If this cannot be done without casualities recommendation will have to be made as to way in which difficulties associated with withdrawal can be overcome, for example provision of air transport for Indonesian leaders to move round the country to drop leaflets etc. At the same time report should make it clear that main provocation to breaches of cease fire order arise from out of fact that Dutch after cease fire frequently attempted to mop up large areas around about roads and points which they may at that time have been holding. Understand Ballard discussed this aspect with you. It would seem to us that mopping up is in itself a breach of the cease fire order.

3. Please in conjunction with military advisers report fully on this military aspect, as at this stage it is a vital one. If you consider it desirable one of the military experts could return to Canberra immediately to give us reports available up to date.

4. It would be desirable for you to visit Djokjakarta in order to answer request that someone discuss the work of the Committee of Three and to put suggestion that an Indonesian representative visit us for this purpose. Sjahrir has apparently publicly expressed the view that Committee of Three should meet in New York depending on consular commission to act as liaison between the two parties and committee. If this were the case we would not be sending Australian representative to Singapore and he therefore could not discuss matter with Indonesian authorities.

5. As it is likely you will be moving around for some time do you wish a responsible officer to be at Batavia continuously or is present staff adequate?

[AA:A4355/2, 7/1/7/3]