446 Kirby to Burton

Cablegram 445 BATAVIA, 1 December 1947

TOP SECRET PERSONAL

Further to my telegram K1 [1], I am glad to report that at Saturday's meeting I succeeded in having Committee give very favourable consideration to Republican requests in the memorandum which we advised Republic to present. Critchley did excellent work on Sub-Committee which advised Committee on this matter.

2. Main parts of Committee's letter to Dutch dated Saturday are repeated in next paragraph. Requests in paragraph [9] of memorandum [2] were:

(1) measures to provide an equitable distribution of food and commodities throughout the areas in which the de facto authority of the Republic was recognised by the Netherlands before their military action of July 21st;

(2) measures to relieve the interruption of the economic relations and of the communications of the Republic, imposed by force by the Netherlands.

In addition Republic asked that the memorandum be 'brought to the attention of Security Council at the first opportunity'.

3. 'The good offices of the Committee have been sought by the Government of the Republic of Indonesia with regard to three specific requests that are contained in paragraph 9 of S/AC.10/46.

[3] The Committee, at its twenty-ninth meeting held on 29th November 1947, decided to convey to you, and through you to the Government of the Netherlands East Indies, its suggestions with regard to those requests. The Committee has asked me to draw your urgent attention to them. I have been further requested by the Committee to express its wish that the authorities of the Netherlands East Indies give their favourable consideration to them.

With reference to the request of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia contained in sub-paragraph (1) of paragraph 9 of the memorandum, the Committee suggests that measures be initiated to secure an equitable distribution of food and commodities available in Java, Madura and Sumatra, particularly wherever shortages exist causing distress to the populations of those areas. In this connection, the Committee hopes that equitable allocations will be made to all distressed areas of foodstuffs and other commodities that may from time to time be allocated to Indonesia through recommendations of international agencies. In the opinion of the Committee, it would be particularly valuable for the authorities concerned to seek and obtain the cooperation of international agencies such as the International Emergency Food Council, the Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East and the International Red Cross in the distribution of such supplies. The Committee is making this suggestion on its conviction that this request of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia is based entirely on humanitarian grounds.

With reference to the request contained in sub-paragraph (2) of paragraph 9 of S/AC.10/46, it is the considered view of the Committee that the early resumption of normal commercial and economic contacts and communications between the territory of the Republic of Indonesia and outside areas will make a signal contribution to the restoration of peace and the pacific settlement of the present dispute, and that this would be in keeping with the earnest desire of both the parties to achieve as rapidly as possible such a settlement. Facilities for such resumption of contacts would, in the opinion of the Committee, also materially help the implementation of both the letter and the spirit of the Security Council's Resolution on the Indonesian question. In this connection, the Committee would suggest to you and the authorities of the Netherlands East Indies to consider carrying out the intent of the commercial agreement that exists between the Governments of the Netherlands East Indies and the Republic of Indonesia with regard to the distribution of certain goods and materials at present in Australia [4], which agreement, the Committee understands, has not been fully implemented due to circumstances arising after the agreement was entered into. The Committee is convinced that if this agreement were put into effect immediately, it would materially advance the prospects of an early and satisfactory settlement between the parties. It is also the Committee's conviction that early distribution of such material would greatly alleviate distress in the deficit areas of Java, Madura and Sumatra, inasmuch as food and commodities could be quickly moved and distributed.

With reference to the third request contained in paragraph 9 of the memorandum, the Committee is of the view that it would be best for it to refrain from reporting to the Security Council on the substantive matters that have been raised in the memorandum until it has had an opportunity to await and consider your reply to this letter. The Committee hopes to report in the near future to the Security Council about the progress of its efforts towards the settlement of the present dispute. The Committee would greatly appreciate your cooperation in replying to this letter at an early date so that the Committee may be in the happy position of being able to report progress in this regard.'

4. In the letter the Committee asked the Dutch to direct 'urgent attention' to its requests and expressed its wish 'that the authorities of the NEI give their favourable consideration to them'.

5. In view of the 'no publicity' provision in the Clause 3 of the NEI-Republic agreement of 24 May 47 [5] we relied on Evatt's press statement of 26 May 47 [6] as the source of our information about the agreement.

6. The information in this telegram is secret at present but I will keep you informed. I assured Committee privately that goods could be despatched from Australia as soon as shipping space becomes available if the agreement were renewed.

1 Documents 433 and 434. See also Document 440, paragraph 2.

2 The full text of the Republic memorandum is given in United Nations, Security Council official Records, Third Year, Special Supplement No.1, pp.26-31.

3 i.e. the Republican memorandum.

4 The Gani - Van Hoogstraten Agreement of 24 May (see Appendix II).

5 See Appendix II.

6 Evatt's press statement announced that the Governments of the NEI and the Republic of Indonesia had appealed to the Australian Government to use its good offices to secure a lifting of the shipping ban (see Document 66) and, inter alia, referred in general terms to the Gani - Van Hoogstraten Agreement.

[AA:AA1979/294/2, BOX 1]