257 Department of External Affairs to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 832 CANBERRA, 28 September 1948, 3 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

INDONESIA

Your 1052, paragraph 6. [1]

You should impress on Butterworth that in present delicate situation Hatta has much less room for manoeuvre, than have the Dutch. Consequently, while Critchley confidently expects that the Republic will ultimately be able to accept the American proposals, it is apparent that Hatta must proceed with caution for the time being until he is certain that his position is clear. If he were to come out immediately with unreserved acceptance of the proposals, he might well alienate some of his more doubtful supporters and upset present precarious balance. To press him to show his hand at this stage would be to weaken his position. We feel therefore that United States Government should not be too greatly concerned with Republican reservations. it is the Netherlands authorities who can most assist matters at this stage by showing genuine spirit of compromise. In this connection, Critchley reports that there are signs that American and other pressures on the Netherlands are having some effect. The Hague has telegraphed Batavia that it expects to be able to make a 'substantial contribution' by October 1st and the Netherlands authorities have formally put off for at least a week the eviction of Republican families from Batavia. The United States Government can help greatly with continued firmness towards the Netherlands.

1 Paragraph 6 of Document 254.

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