93 Ballard to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 186 BATAVIA, 20 June 1947


My telegram No.185 [1] last paragraph.

Tonight (Thursday) Sjahrir made a broadcast containing a lofty and powerful pl[ea] [2] for mutual trust and belief in sincerity of Republican negotiations, of which the following is a precis:-

Since Linggardjati, atmosphere has deteriorated and distrust increased, darkening the counsel of the parties concerned. After Dutch note and Indonesian reply, complete blackness set in and people discuss possible catastrophe of war as if it were inevitable consequence of a law of nature. Every self-respecting human being will resist surrender to such a spiritual atmosphere.

Spirit and principle of Republican reply is nothing more or less than sincere desire to achieve a quick and practical solution in order to change general atmosphere. It is not a veiled rejection of Dutch note nor an attempt to secure quick victory by short- circuiting Linggardjati. Reply might have been more tactfully worded, to avoid exciting distrust of those inclined to be suspicious, but it contains no hidden meanings. It merely states views of Republic on the problems raised by Dutch note.

Consequently further discussions are necessary.

Real object of Republic is to avoid being forced into a situation degrading to human beings, i.e. situation of having to choose between war or outright surrender.

We therefore do not aim at realizing all our objectives at once.

We propose concrete co-operation in the spirit of Linggardjati as soon as possible and therefore agree with earliest establishment of interim government. Our proposal on this does not exclude possibility that, in early stages of such government, representative of crown should occupy de jure and formally position proposed in Dutch note. As it develops we expect it to approach nearer to scheme set out in our reply, until it finally merges in the sovereign government of U.S.I. Negotiations with East Indonesia and Borneo should be begun at once so that interim government can be established before mid-July.

Interim government should set up federal organs; among the first, one for economic matters.

Once implementation of Linggardjati on above lines gets under way, present suffocating atmosphere will dissipate, and normal national and international life be possible for well-being of Indonesia, the Dutch, and the whole world.

1 Document 92.

2 Amended by hand. The text originally read: 'plan'.

[AA:A4355/2, 7/1/6/1]