151 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K123 KALIURANG, 30 May 1948

SECRET

Political Committee on Friday discussed Republican foreign relations [1] and particularly the Moscow Report of the establishment of relations with the Soviet Union which has obviously taken Hatta and Republican Government by surprise.

2. Dutch have a document signed by Sukarno at the direction of Sjarifuddin when he was Prime Minister authorising Suripno to establish relations with East European countries.

3. Vredenburch pressed Republican Delegation for a categorical statement as to whether Suripno was in fact empowered to negotiate reported agreement, so he could report to The Hague by Saturday evening. Vredenburch said that The Hague regarded the matter most seriously and that if there was such an authority it would seriously prejudice the atmosphere of the talks.

4. Roem was unable to give a direct answer which he promised as soon as possible. He referred to Hadji Salim's evasive press statement wherein Salim says that 'no Republican representative has been authorized to conclude such an agreement' and that Suripno 'had no authority to sign any agreement' and at the same time says that 'the position of Suripno is not clear to him' and that at one stage Sjarifuddin as Prime Minister had dealt with foreign affairs through his Secretariat and not through the Foreign Office. [2]

5. Republican Cabinet discussed the position Friday evening and agreed to issue statement that- (a) It knows nothing officially of Moscow report which may be unilateral recognition of Republic by Russia.

(b) That if any negotiations have been conducted it has been under an old authority to establish relations with East European countries given by Sjarifuddin in December before the Renville agreement and at a time when the Republic was threatened by Netherlands military action.

(c) Suripno will be recalled for clarification.

(d) Meantime the Republic's foreign policy will be to undertake no expansion of foreign relations at present. [3]

6. In addition informal assurances will be given to the Netherlands and the Americans that there will be no exchange of consular representatives with Russia.

7. It is hoped these statements and assurances will satisfy Americans who express great concern about reactions in America and likelihood that American pressure on Dutch for agreement will be affected.

1 See note 3 to Document 149.

2 An interview given by Salim to Aneta on 27 May.

3 Issued on 29 May, the statement concluded that: 'In the meantime, the foreign policy of the Government of the Republic remains as set forth in the statement made by the Republican delegation to the Committee of Good Offices, viz., at this time there will be no extension of the scope of the Republican foreign relations.'

[AA:A4357/2, 48/254, iii]