343 Note for File by Davis

WASHINGTON, 3 December 1948


Interview with Mr. Lacy, State Department, on 3 December 1948 I indicated to Lacy the general purport of telegram No. 975 from External [1], emphasizing the hope that the United States Government would apply all possible pressure and warnings to the Dutch, should they resort to further police action if the present negotiations break down. Lacy stated that he was still of the opinion that no police action was likely during negotiations and also stated, that they had no information whatsoever on the current talks which were being kept strictly secret. He asked whether there was any indication from Critchley as to any recent change in the Dutch Government's attitude. I said that we had not had any recent report in that regard.

I mentioned that Thamboe had called and that the significant indications from his conversation were that- (1) he was inclined to agree that force would not be used until after failure of negotiations, and (2) he thought it unrealistic to expect any tangible outside assistance if the Dutch resorted to force.

Lacy emphasized the fact that the United States Government policy was not to interfere in the activities of friendly countries, and particularly, not by the use of any drastic measures.

I mentioned Thamboe's reference to the Burmese offer of rice and the request for Australian shipping. [2] Lacy had not heard of the offer, he indicated surprise that the Burmese should be able to spare rice to make the offer, and said that he thought the main difficulty in Indonesia was not the shortage of rice but problems of distribution. He asked what the Australian Government's view was on the rice question. I informed him that I did not know but thought that if there was no urgent need for the rice and if it was only a political gesture, we would probably not take any steps in the matter.

1 Document 336.

2 On 1 December Thamboe had asked the Embassy in Washington if Australia could help in the transport to Indonesia of 5000 tons of rice offered by Burma.

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