69 Ballard to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 157 BATAVIA, 26 May 1947, 3.30 p.m.

IMPORTANT SECRET

Your telegram 106. [1] Dutch Far Eastern Office of Foreign Affairs have told Oesman and ourselves that there is no objection to the visit of Indonesian officials to Australia. Sjahrir has approved in principle.

2. Party would probably consist of Oesman and two others probably but not certainly those mentioned in my telegram 128. [2] Preparations here would take a week or so and Oesman thinks about the end of the first week of June would be suitable from Indonesian viewpoint. Oesman wishes the party, inter alia, to look into Education, Trade, and arrangements for maintenance of Indonesian wives [3] while still in Australia. They anticipate two or three weeks stay.

3. Forsyth strongly recommends early approval. To avoid restrictions which would be likely if the Dutch in Australia took charge of arrangements he suggests the party should be invited to be informal guests of the Government for a few days, if this can be made compatible with unofficial status of the visit. [4]

1 See Document 54, note 2.

2 Document 54.

3 i.e. the Australian wives of repatriated Indonesian nationals.

4 On 2 June, the Department of External Affairs replied (cablegram 135) that it was understood from the Dutch Charge d'Affaires in Canberra that in fact there were Dutch objections to the proposed visit and that as a consequence it could not be approved.

[AA:A1838/283, 401/3/10/7, i]