171 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K130 KALIURANG, 9 June 1948


Wednesday morning Dubois received a personal letter from Van Mook expressing concern at rumours that the Committee was considering offering suggestions to the parties. [1] The letter stated that Republican fears of further military action were groundless as the Dutch forces were being reduced and urged Dubois to avoid any action by the Committee at this delicate stage of negotiations.

This letter has reinforced the view of the Americans and ourselves that the Dutch are manoeuvring to by-pass the Committee.

2. That evening the Committee met formally to consider the overall plan for a political settlement referred to in my K. 129.

Herremans maintained his position that no suggestions should be made until completion of the talks between Hatta and Van Mook and opposed the substance of the plan principally on the ground that it does not sufficiently provide for the exercise of Dutch sovereignty in the interim period. After protracted discussions it became evident that there was no possibility of reaching agreement and Dubois and I announced our intention of submitting the plan to the parties in the form of a working paper of our two delegations.

Herremans reserved his position.

3. Dubois will go to Batavia tomorrow to see Van Mook regarding the latter's personal letter to him and will at the same time deliver the working paper to Van Mook with a covering letter stressing the provisional and informal nature of the plan but reserving our right to include the working paper in a report to the Security Council if it becomes evident that the parties cannot reach an agreement on this or any other basis. I shall hand another copy with a similar covering letter to Hatta.

4. The Committee has replied to Van Mook's letter (para 3 of my K.

127 [2]) that it feels under obligation to take appropriate steps to assist the parties, and is now considering further ways of doing this.

1 This letter from Van Mook to Du Bois was dated 8 June.

2 Paragraph 3 of Document 168.

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