74 Sjahrir to Chifley

Letter DJAKARTA, 30 May 1947

In the course of recent history the relations between Australia and Indonesia have demonstrated a marked tendency to become closer and closer. This development has been partly due to the fact of our neighbourliness which has the effect of linking the destinies of our respective countries to one another. For another part it is founded on a similarity of outlook the structure of society as cherished by substantial sections of both our communities.

It is with great gratification and a profound sense of gratitude that I recall the assistance and hospitality extended by the Australian Government and the Australians in general to my compatriots in your country. Without the kind attitude displayed by the Australian Government the lot of the unfortunate Indonesians would be inevitably much harder to bear. I greatly appreciate the favourable response accorded by the Government of the Commonwealth to the recent joint Netherlands-Indonesian request for intermediation in regard to the ban on Dutch goods being one more proof of the sincerity with which your Government carry out their friendly policy. For all this I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to the Australian Government in particular and the Australian people in general! It is my earnest hope that the relations between our countries and peoples may benefit from the sound foundation laid in the present times and accordingly grow out into full bloom in the near future yielding a rich harvest of prosperity and peace.

This letter is presented to you by Dr. Oesman acting for me personally. [1]

I take this opportunity to convey to you the assurance of my highest consideration.

1 Usman arrived in Canberra on 11 June. See Document 78, note 2. A similar letter from Sjahrir to Evatt was also conveyed by Usman.

[AA:A461/2, A350/1/9]