378 Evatt to Chifley

Cablegram unnumbered (extract) LONDON, 17 December 1948, 10.32


[matter omitted] [1]

3. I took occasion to raise the whole question of the Pacific and South East Asia because for some considerable time, along with the Marshall policy the trend has been to concentrate almost solely on Europe. I told them our position in the Pacific and South East Asia compelled us to take up every opportunity of friendly relations with the Philippines, Siam and even Burma as well as India, Pakistan and Ceylon. Our attitude on Indonesia had been consistent and the Dutch were making the very serious mistake of supposing that, although India and other Nations attained independence as a result of the Labour Party's policy, the same result could be avoided in Indonesia. Here again we see their concentration on Europe. It is only because of the important position of the Netherlands in European economy that in the last resort the Dutch feel there will be no objection if, in the end, they get very tough with the Indonesians.

4. Finally we agreed on the desirability of regional conferences covering South East Asia and they agreed generally that the best way to handle Communist infiltration was by encouraging progressive and democratic teams wherever possible and of course of improving the wretchedly low standards of existence. Nothing finally was agreed on as to conference but my idea is very much on the lines I have frequently referred to in past statements.

5. Re Indonesia, I think our attitude should be unchanged. At the Security Council we should try to insist on the continuance of the truce and on readiness to carry out plans of the Good Offices Committee.

[matter omitted]

1 Evatt was here reporting a conversation he had on 16 December with Attlee, Bevin and Noel-Baker.

[AA:A1838, 854/10/4/3, i]