182 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K133 BATAVIA, 17 June 1948, 12.45 p.m.

IMPORTANT SECRET

At Tuesday's meeting of the Committee of Good Offices Dubois and I reported handing our plan [1] to Van Mook and Hatta respectively.

Herremans then read a personal letter from Van Mook noting that Herremans had reserved his position regarding the plan and asking for particulars. Herremans has replied that his reservations referred to portions of the substance of the plan and the procedure of its presentation. He also stated that he did not consider the Committee as such could report to the Security Council on the plan.

2. The plan has leaked to the press. Last night Schorr, an American correspondent, filed a despatch to 'Time' Magazine.

Consequent report from The [Hague] [2] suggests this was based on an interview with Dubois who denies it and I believe truthfully.

A.P. and A.F.S. [3] have also filed full particulars of our proposals. [4]

3. A meeting of the Steering Committee was scheduled for this morning but at the last minute the Dutch advised the Committee by letter that in view of the publication of the plan the Netherlands Delegation has requested further instructions from their Government and that they wished to discontinue meetings for the time being, except those concerned with the implementation of the truce.

4. At noon today the Dutch issued a press statement that a plan for an overall settlement had been presented by Dubois and me, that the Netherlands Government was not prepared to consider the plan and that reasons for this refusal would be released by Beel tonight together with all correspondence since the presentation of the Dutch aide-memoire to Hatta on Russian recognition (see my telegram K.126 [5]). It now appears that as a result of our plan the Dutch may precipitate a breakdown on talks even before the elections. They will present our plan in as unfavourable light as possible and may take the following position before the Security Council- (a) Stress the Republican failure to recognise the Netherlands sovereignty.

(b) Justify their refusal to consider our plan by- (1) Instancing the Republican 'unwillingness or inability' to comply with the sovereignty obligations under two previous agreements [6] and the consequent impossibility of negotiating a third agreement.

(2) Stressing that Herremans objected to the plan.

(c) Stress urgency of a settlement with non-Republican Indonesians and declare their intention of establishing a United States of Indonesia without the Republic.

(d) Suggest dissolution of the Committee of Good Offices.

(e) Rely on the French veto against any move to keep Good Offices Committee here or give it additional powers.

6. Hatta arrived at Batavia this morning for informal talks with Van Mook. The Republic has issued a press statement simultaneously with the commencement of the talks that it will not agree to by-passing the Committee of Good Offices.

7. This evening the Dutch press carries fierce attacks on Dubois and myself.

1 Document 173.

2 The word in square brackets has been inserted from a copy on file AA:A4357/2, 48/254, iv.

3 Associated Press and, presumably, Agence France Presse.

4 On 16 June, the Netherlands Delegation broke off negotiations with the Republican Delegation because the contents of the Du Bois-Critchley proposals (Document 173) had been leaked to Time magazine. Du Bois denied leaking the Working Paper and was convinced that the Dutch themselves had done so. See Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1948, vol. VI, Washington, 1974, p.250.

5 See Document 163.

6 i.e. the Linggadjati and Renville Agreements.

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