129 Teppema to Chifley
Letter CANBERRA, 12 May 1948
From our yesterday's discussion  I gathered that it would be useful to you, if, in the course of your present efforts to have the 'ban' removed, you could produce some sort of statement on two points which are apparently of interest to the Union leaders.
I understand that you are personally satisfied with the position- which, after all, does not materially differ from the general rule in every country and certainly not in these days-but that this information with regard to access of shipping in Indonesian ports and the so called 'blockade' would assist you to obtain a satisfactory solution.
I enclose two statements.  The one on shipping is necessarily short. In fact the position is fundamentally what it has always been and which, curiously enough, is very much the same as in Australia.
As to the 'blockade' I pointed out to you that this is a misnomer of a very simple situation, the crux of which is the exercise of sovereign rights in territorial waters by the only authority who can exercise these rights. That is, the Netherlands Government in which sovereignty is vested until such time that federation will be proclaimed as such.
I meant to give you a concise statement, but, in consulting my files I realised that it was necessary to go to some length. It occurs to me that a comprehensive factual statement meets your purpose better than some sort of summary which in minor points might be attacked. I leave it to you whether it should be condensed.
I have given considerable thought to our interview of yesterday and incline to the conclusion, for which your optimism is in no small degree responsible, that if it be a question of getting the Unions over what I would term minor hurdles you are bound to see your efforts crowned with success. For the reasons which I have expounded I sincerely hope so.