348 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K201 BATAVIA, 4 December 1948, 3.45 p.m.


Reference my telegram K.200. [1]

Hatta in a letter delivered to Sassen last night points out that the misunderstanding at Kaliurang must have arisen because of his reference to the fact that many people and many of the political parties especially the P.N.I. consider that he went too far in his aide-memoire. Hatta re-affirms that he adheres to its terms and offers to come to Batavia for further informal talks with the Minister on the basis of the aide-memoire.

Agreeing that the interim Federal Government should be formed without delay he considers that informal discussions should be completed by December 15th finally followed by a formal agreement under the auspices of the G.O.C. on the basis of the Cochran plan.

[2] Hatta also expressed the wish to receive the Netherlands reaction to his draft of the joint communique on the truce. [3]

2. I understand that if informal negotiations were resumed Hatta, while accepting the Netherlands Sovereignty in the interim period, would argue that there should be a protocol or at the outside a gentleman's agreement that high representatives of the crown would not exercise that Sovereignty to use the Netherlands forces against the Indonesians in opposition to the Interim Federal Government.

3. Cochran reports Stikker was pleased with the letter but that Sassen's reactions were unfavourable. The Dutch Ministers met last night to discuss the letter and the results of the meeting were reported to Cochran at 5 a.m. this morning (December 4th). Cochran and Darmasetiawan left almost immediately for Djokjakarta. Details are not known but Hatta's offer has not yet been accepted and the Ministers [there]for[e] [4] have arranged to leave [for] The Hague tomorrow morning. Cochran's trip to Djokjakarta may indicate further Netherlands demands for clarification or commitments from Hatta.

Netherlands are only prepared to settle with the Republic on the basis of the latter's complete capitulation. The Republican leaders are agreed that any further concessions would be dishonourable.

[5.] Unless there is the greatest outside pressure we may therefore expect A. Formation of an interim Federal Government without the Republic.

B. Intensification of the Netherlands campaign against the Republican truce violations and incidents.

C. Intensification of Netherlands charges that the Republic is either incapable or unwilling to come to an agreement.

[6.] Military observers in central Sumatra report, for the period sixteenth to twenty-third of November, an increase of Dutch Military activities which may indicate preparations for military action and that the Republicans are increasingly apprehensive.

[7.] I have learnt from a reliable Republican source who is in constant touch with the Federalists that the Prime Ministers of East Indonesia and Pasundan have told the Dutch that they will resign in the event of a police action.

[8.] Nehru has sent a most strongly worded telegram to the United Kingdom Minister for Commonwealth Relations expressing his view that the Republic has already made all the concessions that could in conscience be expected and that anything further would be a capitulation. The telegram also stated clearly that resumption of military action by the Dutch would give rise to most serious repercussions in India, irrespective of whether the Republic survives. In view of this Nehru asked that the utmost pressure be exerted on Washington and The Hague to achieve a settlement in Indonesia. I also understand that India has informed both the United States and the United Kingdom that asylum would be offered a Republican Emigre Government if the worst happens. You will have already learnt of Nehru's invitation to Sukarno.

[9.] Republican change of policy regarding the [E.C.A.F.E.] [5] reflects these latest developments.

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

1 Document 346.

2 See Documents 237 and 238.

3 See note 5 to Document 341.

4 The text in square brackets in this sentence has been inserted with reference to a copy on file AA:A4357/2, 48/254, v.

5 A sign here indicates 'mutilated'. The word 'E.C.A.F.E.' has been inserted by hand above the word 'emigree' on the cited copy.

[4.] Latest development confirms my worst fears that the