259 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K165 BATAVIA, 29 September 1948

SECRET

Your telegram No. 267. [1] The arguments of paragraphs 1 and 2 of your telegram are most important. Political and economic gestures now from the Netherlands would greatly strengthen Hatta's hand against the Communists and would pay big dividends if the Dutch are sincere about wanting a settlement.

2. Unfortunately a stronger Dutch tone appears to be emerging in Batavia. The official public spokesman has expressed the following opinions:

(1) (a) If Hatta is sincere he will crush the Communists.

(b) If he is sincere but is unable to crush the Communists on his own he will call on help from Spoor.

(c) if he is insincere Dutch military action is desirable in any event.

(2) The Netherlands will not withdraw their eviction orders to Republicans in Batavia.

1 Dispatched on 28 September. Paragraphs 1 and 2 reported to Critchley Australian advice to Washington not to press Hatta for an unreserved acceptance of the Cochran proposals until his position within the Republic was stronger. Paragraphs 3 and 4 advised Critchley of the Netherlands Government's assessment of Hatta's position in the Republic and of its assurance that it wanted negotiations with the Republic to resume.

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