134 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K115 BATAVIA, 18 May 1948, 5.10 p.m.


In recent informal discussions in Political sub-committees, the Netherlands have placed special emphasis on sovereignty as stated in principle one of the six additional principles. [1] They are insisting on:-

(a) The abolition of Republic's foreign relations at the time of political settlement.

(b) The abolition of T.N.I. to begin at the time of political settlement and to be completed before the delineation of states.

(c) Republic participation in an interim Government over the powers and composition of which the Netherlands would retain full discretion.

(d) No guaranteed date for establishment of United States of Indonesia.

2. These proposals are unacceptable to the Republic which in its present mood must insist on remaining as a going concern until the United States of Indonesia is established or until a guaranteed date for its establishment is given.

3. In sub-committee meetings, Van Vredenburch has not been prepared to negotiate but has put his terms on a take it or leave it basis saying that he would return to The Hague for instructions if the proposals were not acceptable to the Republic. The Republicans see in the present position a parallel with the events leading up to police action last year.

4. From the events of the last few days the following moves may be in process:-

(a) unreasonable requests for Republic to abolish itself, (b) justification for [2] requests by having them accepted by Indonesians prepared to co-operate (i.e. Bandoeng conference), (c) public campaign against Republic as consisting of many bad elements which the good elements are unable to control, (d) an ultimatum, (e) 'police action' or creation of a United States of Indonesia without the Republic.

5. Hatta has expressed complete agreement with proposals outlined in my tele-gram 106 [3] but as you will see from my telegram K.114 there is at present no prospect of the Committee pressing these in opposition to the Netherlands. With other members of the Committee strongly of the opinion that as good officers we cannot even exert moral pressure there is little I can suggest from here save the possibility of a minority report [and the] need of changing [the American] approach. [4]

1 See Principle 1 of Document 24.

2 A sign here indicates 'mutilated'.

3 Document 125.

4 The words in square brackets have been corrected from a copy on file AA:A4357/2, 48/254, iii. The cited copy here reads: 'relating to the' and 'national'.

[AA:A1838, 403/3/1/1, xvi]