373 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram 612 CANBERRA, 13 October 1947


Your UN.966, Security [5]02. [1] Indonesia.

1. We feel that your resolution in its present form is not sufficiently realistic in terms of the actual situation in Java to provide effective observance of cease fire order, even if it were adopted by Council.

2. Reports from our military observers in Indonesia [2] confirm that positions of opposing troops on and since August 1st (date of Council decision) have been such that there is nothing in the nature of a line of demarcation, and withdrawal of five kilometres by both sides would be academic. Situation on 1st August was that the Dutch troops had advanced at various points into Republican territory, leaving pockets of Republican troops, both regular and guerilla, between and behind their spearheads. Consular report which you should have by now [3] indicates that it has been Dutch attempt to mop up these pockets since cease-fire order, and Republican determination to 'stand fast', that have led to continued disregard of cease-fire order.

3. It is thus differing interpretations placed by Dutch and Indonesians on Security Council's order to 'cease hostilities forthwith', which is at the root of the matter. Complete withdrawal to positions before hostilities is only the real solution from military point of view. If decision along these lines not possible, we consider that better proposal would be for Council to call upon both sides to 'stand fast' in present positions, and, at the same time make it clear that this order means the prohibiting of armed land and air patrols and of mopping-up operations. It also means cessation of activities of irregular bands.

1 Document 371.

2 See Documents 360 and 369.

3 See Document 372.

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