319 [Quinn] [1] to Hood

Minute PARIS, 18 November 1948

I saw Palar and Soedjatmoko this afternoon as arranged.

The purpose of their request to see you was to discuss the tactics to be followed in drawing the attention of the United Nations to the Indonesian problem. While they believed that pressure on the Dutch has so far been effective, they still did not exclude the possibility of a strong Dutch action being taken in desperation.

However, they still felt disinclined to request a special meeting of the Security Council to consider Indonesia, and in any case had no instructions from their Government for this.

They suggested that there were two possible courses of action:

(a) Utilisation of the opportunity afforded by the presentation of the Fourth Interim Report [2] to the Security Council for a member of the Council (Australia or India) to seek assurances from the United Nations that the work of the Good Offices Commission would be allowed to continue.

(b) A discussion of the explosive situation in Indonesia in Committee 1 or in the ad hoc Committee considering the progress of business in the Security Council.

Palar also raised the question of what should be done if police action were undertaken by the Dutch, and suggested that the President and the Secretary-General of the United Nations might be able to intervene as they had done in the Berlin matter, despite the fact that the Security Council was seized with the Berlin problem. [3] The action taken on Berlin, he thought, might serve as a precedent for direct intervention in the case of Indonesia.

I told Palar that I would convey his observations to you and that we would give the matter very careful consideration. I also told him that we felt that it was desirable to check any military action before it started.

1 The minute was unsigned but the author was presumably J.P.


2 The Fourth Interim Report of the Committee of Good Offices to the Security Council was submitted under cover of a letter dated 15 November. The full text of the report, with appendixes and annexes, is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Third Year, Supplement for December, pp.1-116.

3 On 29 September the United Kingdom and the United States referred the Soviet Union's blockade of Berlin to the Security Council. While the Security Council was still seized with the issue, Evatt, the President of the UN General Assembly and Trygve Lie, the UN Secretary-General, issued on 15 November a joint letter to the permanent members of the Security Council urging them to hold immediate talks to resolve the Berlin crisis on the basis of a resolution passed by the General Assembly on 3 November.

[AA:A4355/3, 6/19/1]