248 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K160 KALIURANG, 20 September 1948


Further reports (still to be confirmed) from the Madiun indicate that early Saturday morning a force of approximately 2000 Pesindo (irregular socialist youth forces) took over key points of the town after disarming the police and army. A Soviet Republic was then proclaimed with Muso as president and Sjarifuddin as Prime Minister.

2. Madiun is in the strategic position to cut off Djokja from Republican East Java and the main routes to the Republic's two main south coast ports. There have been less important outbursts in other areas, the most serious of which has cut the railway between Surakarta and Purwodadi which cuts Republican communication with their only Northern port at Tuban.

3. There have also been 'reports' of a social revolution in Republican held Tapanuli (W. Sumatra) on September 10th when a communist-led people's army took up arms against the T.N.I. The rebels are assumed to be in control of the territory. Hatta confirms that there has been trouble in this area for which he blames Chinese communists brought to Sibolga from Malaya and the infiltration permitted by the Dutch of Chinese communists from Medan.

4. The Government has taken immediate and firm measures to put down communist uprising in Java.

a. Government forces are converging on the Madiun areas from three directions with a view to surrounding it and capturing the ringleaders. Troops are also being moved up to Madiun from Solo where the situation is considered to be well in hand.

b. Prominent members of the Indonesian Communist Party have been arrested. In Djokja about 200 people have been arrested including representatives of the party in the parliamentary working committee.

c. Beginning of the 19th September the Government has instituted a curfew in Djokja between the hours of 2200 and 0500.

d. All communications and vital industries in Republican Central Java have been placed under military control.

e. The parliamentary working committee by 25 votes to one has conferred on the President for a period of three months full emergency powers to deal with the situation.

f. Sukarno made a broadcast appeal to the people to assist the Government to smash all uprisings and help restore Madiun to lawful administration. Leaflets of his speech are being dropped in Madiun. Broadcast appeals to support the Government have been made by the C. in C. [1], the leader of the Masjumi [2] and the Sultan of Djokjakarta. [3]

1 General Sudirman, Commander-in-Chief of the TNI.

2 Dr Wirjosandjojo Sukiman.

3 Hamengkobuwono IX.

[AA:A4357/2, 48/260/1, iii]