224 Officer to Evatt

Memorandum THE HAGUE, 12 August 1948

On my return from London on the 4th August, I saw the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as there was still no Cabinet and no Foreign Minis-ter. [1]

I advised him of my talks with you on the subject of Indonesia [2] and that there was no indication at present of Australia leaving the Committee of Good Offices but that the time seemed more than ripe for an early effort to reach a final settlement with the Republic by means of the several proposals now in existence and with the aid of the Committee of Good Offices.

Mr Lovink assured me that as soon as the Government was formed a real effort would be made to this end. He believed that the aid of the Committee would be necessary and repeated again the plea that Judge KIRBY should return for a short period. I told him I had already discussed this matter with you and that you would give consideration to it if you felt it would be really useful but there were very grave difficulties in the way of sparing judge Kirby.

Later in the same day Mr COCHRAN the new U.S. member of the Committee came to see me and told me he had gained the impression in The Hague that the new Dutch Government would make an early effort to secure a settlement and that the Committee might play a very important part. [3]

Last night, 11th August, I saw Mr. Lovink again when he brought me a message from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that they hoped for an early solution of the N.E.I. difficulties and trusted that if need arose Judge Kirby's services would be available.

Mr Lovink was very concerned by a report that a representative of the Republic of Indonesia was holding a reception in Canberra on August 17th and that Australian Officials proposed to attend it.

He expressed the hope that at the present juncture they would avoid doing anything which might be wrongly interpreted.

YOUR VISIT TO THE HAGUE When I saw Mr Lovink on the 5th August, I suggested that it would be very useful for you to have personal talks with the new Foreign Minister when he was appointed. Last night Mr Lovink conveyed to me an invitation from Dr. STIKKER to you to pay a visit to The Hague and have personal discussions with him at any time convenient to you, between the 13th and 18th September. Before the 13th September he was to be rather fully occupied with matters connected with the new Queen's accession and after the 18th he had imagined that you would be busy with the United Nations Assembly in Paris.

I telephoned to Mr Heydon this morning and asked him to advise you of this invitation as soon as you arrived [4], and ascertain your wishes.

When I saw Mr. Lovink on the 5th August I said that I did not know what your intentions were but that if you were a candidate for the Presidency of the United Nations I hoped that you would have not only the vote but the full support of the Netherlands Government.

Mr. Lovink has told me since that the new Foreign Minister proposes to discuss this with his Benelux partners [5] at an early opportunity.

1 After the Netherlands elections of 7-8 July, a Cabinet was finally formed on 7 August. Willem Drees (Labour Party) became Prime Minister, J.R.H. van Schaik (Catholic Party) Minister without Portfolio and Vice President of the Ministerial Council, D.U. Stikker (Freedom Party) Minister for Foreign Affairs and E.M.J.A. Sassen (Catholic Party) Minister for Overseas Territories.

2 See Document 221.

3 See note 5 to Document 218.

4 Evatt was in London briefly from 15 or 16 August before returning to Geneva via Paris on 19 August.

5 Belgium and Luxembourg had established a Customs Union with the Netherlands on 5 September 1944.

[AA:A8108/2, 280/1/48, i]