298 Critchley to Burton

Cablegram K183 BATAVIA, 2 November 1948


In view of the critical stage, I am giving you my personal views on the situation here.

These may have to be modified later particularly in the light of Hatta's interview with Stikker.

(1) Dutch military action against the Republic appears inevitable.

Despite Stikker's reassuring statements, I believe his visit is a mere formality, a last gesture by the Netherlands of their alleged desire for a peaceful settlement.

(2) Military preparations are at an advanced stage, and the Army favours an early decision to march on Djokjakarta.

(3) Decision for further military action would be taken by the new Interim Government and might be timed at the end of the Assembly Session in Paris [1] when there will be ample opportunity to present the Council with a fait accompli.

(4) Under the new emergency powers, an Interim Government can be set up at a few hours' notice, consisting of three or five hand- picked Indonesians. It would be a convenient mouthpiece for Dutch policy and could justify an eventual explanation to the Security Council on the Hyderabad model. [2]

(5) Textiles bought in Japan with American dollars would follow the Netherlands forces. It would probably not be difficult to give the impression that the troops were welcomed and set up puppet administrations in areas such as Central Java.

(6) justification for military action would be the Republican inability to implement the truce. The Republican Government is being charged with the responsibility for incidents in Netherlands-occupied areas.

I am doing my best to have the Committee issue factual statements on [ob]servation of the truce to deflate Dutch exaggerations.

1 The third session of the UN General Assembly was due to end on 12 December.

2 Situated in the centre of India, the predominantly Hindu state of Hyderabad had been governed for over 200 years by an Islamic autocracy. After the transfer of powers from the United Kingdom to India, the Nizam of Hyderabad refused to accede to the Indian Union. Under threat of invasion by India, on 12 September he referred the dispute between Hyderabad and India to the Security Council. The issue was placed on the agenda of the Security Council on 16 September. When the Security Council met four days later, however, the Indian representative advised that the Nizam of Hyderabad had capitulated to Indian forces and that Hyderabad, with a new Government sympathetic to India, desired to withdraw its complaint against India.

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