496 Burton to Kirby

Cablegram 412 CANBERRA, 31 December 1947, 9 p.m.


Dutch have now decided to pursue plan of United States of Indonesia making Republic one amongst many States (see cable K.32

respect of foreign relations and also domestic policy will be decisions dictated by Dutch through their influence on separate states majority of which are Dutch established. Republic will have achieved no independence even possibly in local affairs within Republic.

2. Dutch claim they are acting on principle of self-determination, and that political units so far established have been result of spontaneous movements.

3. It would seem to us the duty of Committee of Three to verify Dutch claims in view of Republic[an] contradictions. Two questions need investigation: (a) whether economic power is being used to assist in setting up economic units or whether movements are, in fact, spontaneous; and (b) whether the means of giving expression to self-determination are satisfactory, and, if not, what kind of supervision is required and by what body.

4. If Dutch claims regarding present spontaneous movements towards organisation, and regarding the need for Dutch troops to protect native populations against Republic, are valid, they can have no objection to withdrawal of troops along lines of plan put forward, leaving large area free of troops from both sides. In fact, withdrawal of troops and lifting of all restrictions on movements of goods within Indonesia should be accomplished before any attempt is made to give effect to self-determination. There can be no self-determination when the peoples concerned are under the military and economic control of those from whom they might wish to be freed.

5. It is suggested that you might make these points in public if you think that course desirable, but at least record your views for the information of the Security Council.

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

1 Document 494.

[1]). This means decisions taken by United States of Indonesia in