184 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K135 BATAVIA, 18 June 1948, 6.50 p.m.


Your telegram 1[6]1. [1]

Our covering letter stressed that our plan would not be reported to the Security Council unless we felt that the parties could not reach agreement on it or any other basis. [2] In this eventuality, Dubois will join me in a full report irrespective of the Belgian attitude unless he receives instructions to the contrary. He would not, however, join in a report while there is still a possibility of agreement.

2. I believe that the Dutch will continue delaying tactics and avoid a final breakdown until after their elections. Consequently there would be considerable advantage in the Security Council considering our plan and the circumstances in which it was presented before then. This might be achieved if the Security Council were to ask us to report or publish our plan in view of recent publicity.

3. My fears of the Dutch delaying tactics have been reinforced by the concluding of the informal discussions between Van Mook and Hatta. Van Mook, when pressed again by Hatta, flatly refused to consider our proposals. When queried on the proposed powers of the Provisional Government he agreed that it must be a real Government, but considered that the details could be discussed only at a future meeting which might be held in some border town with Soekarno participating. He would not object to the Committee of Good Offices participating. Since Soekarno will not be back from Sumatra until next month this proposal seems clearly designed to fob off the Republic and gain time.

4. There has been no agreement as such for inter island and overseas trade. On June 8th an understanding in principle was reached in an informal sub committee but this has yet to be reported to the economic and financial committee, and conf[irmed] [3] by the conference. In any case any agreement on sea traffic will be subject to reconsideration if an agreement cannot be reached, on traffic within a month. The sub committee understandings would permit the use of Republican vessels but only under Netherlands control (see paragraph one (one) (three) (four) and (five) of my telegram K.119. [4] They are therefore of little value to the Republic unless there is a radical change in the Dutch attitude on the implementation.

5. The Committee has now approved the third interim report [5] dealing with events up to June 11th. The report is already out of date and has been so emasculated in obtaining agreement that it contains little of value except an introduction which assesses the current situation and should provide a lead to an eventual report on our proposals.

1 Document 179.

2 See Document 173.

3 Amended with reference to a copy on file AA:A4357/2, 48/254, iv.

The cited copy reads: 'conferred'.

4 See paragraphs 1-5 of Document 144.

5 The text of the report is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Third Year, Supplement for June, 23 June 1948, pp.122-47.

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