457 Note for File by Brookes

Extracts BATAVIA, 7 December 1947



[matter omitted]

4. During the course of discussions it became abundantly clear that the Dutch did not intend to withdraw to the areas they occupied on August 4th nor to abandon freedom of police action behind their forward positions.

To meet this situation the Australian Delegation prepared a plan.

(See document S/AC.10/CONF.1/9 dated 3 December 1947. [1]) It was the original intention of the Australian Delegation that the parties should be asked beforehand whether they would accept decisions of the Special Representatives as to where the demilitarized zone should be, having listened to and considered the arguments of both parties. This idea was, however, unacceptable to the U.S. and Belgian Delegations as they felt it would bring a blank refusal from the Dutch.

The Special Representatives are now awaiting replies from the two parties to this plan which was communicated to them by letter. [2]

One advantage of the plan is that if it is accepted by both parties the Dutch will not be able to cross the demilitarized zone and destroy the Republic without bringing some form of international action down on their head. In addition it sets an irreducible minimum for the territories of the Republic which the Dutch cannot enter without permission. This territory can be expanded by agreement on the political issues; it cannot be contracted unless the Republic collapses. The possibility of obtaining de jure sovereignty for this area should be borne in mind in certain circumstances. In any event the economic position of the Republic would have to be most carefully examined for through the police action far the greater part of the economically valuable territory (especially in Java) has been occupied or by- passed.

Another problem arises in connection with the plan, namely the control of the demilitarized zone. As at present advised the Australian Delegation thinks that the overall control should be in the hands of the three Senior Military Officers of the three nations acting either as a committee or as responsible for separate areas. These officers would have at their disposal a joint police force commanded in one case by a Netherlands and in the other a Republican official.

A reply is awaited from the Dutch as to whether they accept the plan. The Indonesians have stated it is acceptable to them.

[matter omitted]

6. Following a request from the Republic to investigate the situation on Madoera [consequent on] [3] recent Dutch action, the Committee has requested the Netherlands to advise whether they have occupied positions in Madoera beyond those occupied on August 4th, also to send observers there.

Although the Australian Delegation realizes that the feelings of the Madoerese and the economic situation will redound in the Dutch favour, there seems little doubt that it can be proved that the Dutch have violated the Cease Fire Resolution.

7. The Dutch are building up a secret file with the Committee of alleged breaches of the Cease Fire. This will no doubt be used at a later date.

8. There is no doubt that the Dutch have succeeded in mopping up and dispersing many of the Republican areas of resistance behind their lines [in Java especially]. [4] It is more than doubtful, [however] [5], that their contention that no such areas exist can be proved. [6] In any event it can be proved that they have occupied positions beyond those occupied on August 4th in many instances and over large areas.

9. The tactic of the Australian delegation has been and is either to get the Dutch to agree to reasonable solutions; if not, to place their refusals on record for subsequent reports to the Security Council.

There is no doubt that the position of the G.O.C. [7] under the Security Council Resolution[s] is much stronger on the Cease Hostilities question than on the Political Discussions.

1 Document 449.

2 See Document 449, note 1.

3 Amended by hand. The text here originally read 'following'.

4 The words in square brackets were added by hand.

5 The word 'however' was added by hand.

6 In a memorandum submitted to the representatives of the Committee of Good Offices on 28 November, the Netherlands Special Committee contended that there were no 'pockets of resistance' behind the Van Mook line, merely 'a number of roving groups or bands, who live off the land and the population, spreading unrest and committing unlawful acts . . . so that brigandage is rampant which cannot be tolerated by the occupying forces in the interests of the population and must be eradicated'. At a meeting between the Special Committees and the representatives of the Committee of Good Offices on 3 December, Van Vredenburch proposed that the Committee of Good Offices investigate the situation to establish conclusively the existence or non-existence of any pockets of Republican resistance.

7 The Good Offices Committee.

[AA:A1838/283, 403/3/1/1, xiii]