72 Ballard to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 162 BATAVIA, 30 May 1947

SECRET

1. On 28th May Van Mook asked the United Kingdom Consul-General to see him. After saying rather plaintively that reports had apparently been going to various governments virtually to the effect that the Dutch were contemplating military action here, he told him of the delivery of the note to the Indonesians, of which he gave him a copy in Dutch. [1]

2. He said that if the Republic did not accept, there were apparently only two alternatives, either withdrawal by the Dutch or the use of force, and added that the former was most unlikely.

The decision however would be made in Holland, not here.

3. Subsequently he sent the Consul-General an unsigned memorandum, of which the text is given in my immediately following telegram.

[2] This memo, when read with the note itself, illuminates the Dutch approach.

4. When I saw Sjahrir yesterday he was very preoccupied and rather disinclined to talk. He thought the proposals for the interim federal government plan were vague, though the economic proposals were concrete. Beel and Jonkman had spoken to him along those lines. He thought there was a danger of the Dutch military people getting out of hand and spoke of the possibility of Dutch military action in East Java. On the political side he said that the Dutch proposals marked a 'step back' for the Republic they proposed in effect that the Republic should take a parallel position to East Indonesia, i.e. with the Dutch in control. This would mean Dutch troops going to the interior, which the Republic 'could not have'.

1 See Document 71 and note 3 thereto.

2 Document 73.

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