473 Critchley to Kirby and Burton

Cablegram unnumbered BATAVIA, 16 December 1947, 3.35 p.m.


A. Possible [1] Second Police Action 1. Sjarifoeddin confirmed today that the Dutch are continuing to mass troops at strategic points particularly in Java and in the region of Soerakarta.

2. As a precaution against a possible second police action we are proposing to put into effect the following plan:

(a) Queries raised by the Netherlands on the Truce Plan [2] have been answered [3] and we will bring to bear what pressure we can to have the plan accepted.

(b) At the first opportunity I shall propose that the Committee publish its activities in relation to the November 1st Resolution on the cease fire. The statement would traverse both sets of proposals put for-ward by the Committee and their reception by the parties. My argument will be that it is time the Committee made clear what it has been doing over the past weeks particularly in view of the time which has passed without positive results and because both the Netherlands and the Republic have referred in public statements to plans put forward by the Committee without the public knowing what the plans are about. A previous inability to [4] make such a statement will be an additional pressure on the Netherlands to accept the Plan. Whether they do or not, its publicity would provide a useful check on Dutch aggression.

(c) Following announcement to the Parties of the Committee's decision to publicize the cease fire activities, Sjarifoeddin will address a letter to the Good Offices Committee giving factual details of Dutch troop concentrations. He will refer to paragraph 7 of the statement adopted by the Committee on November 29th and sent to the parties the following day (SAC 10-1-5). [5] He will also emphasise the serious effect troop concentrations are having on the impasse and will suggest that it would greatly assist in the creation of a peaceful atmosphere if the Netherlands were to give an assurance that their forces would not advance from their forward positions. When the letter is received I shall point out in the Committee the delicate nature of the request and suggest that the Belgian Representative on the Committee approach the Netherlands informally and if possible obtain the required assurance without presenting the Republic letter.

B. Political Talks These proceeded somewhat haphazardly this morning with the Republic Delegation. The only real point of interest was the denial by the Republicans that they had ever heard the interpretation of Clause 1 of Linggadjati as set out in my telegram K.18 [6], paragraph b.1.

The Good Offices Committee has decided that in future questions in the main identical [proposals] will be submitted by the Committee in writing in advance to each of the parties so that more rapid progress can be achieved and so that the final record will clearly indicate their respective views.

1 A sign here indicates 'probable meaning of group'.

2 Document 449.

3 See Documents 475 and 476.

4 A sign here indicates 'probable meaning of group'.

5 The statement set out proposals for the investigation of allegations of violations of the cease-fire. Paragraph 7 asked the Governments of the Netherlands and the Republic of Indonesia to inform the Committee of Good Offices of 'any situation which either party may consider as necessitating the movement of elements of its armed forces beyond their present advance positions, and that the advice should be given prior to any such movement'.

6 Document 472.

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