381 Cutts [1] to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K210 [2] BATAVIA, 18 December 1948, 2 p.m.


At 3.15 p.m. December 17th Cochran received a telegram from Schuurman conveying the Netherlands' reply [3] to Hatta's letter of 13th December [4] which Cochran had passed to the Dutch. The following is a summary:-

(A) Hatta's letter contained Hatta's personal thoughts written 'very roughly and informally', and by itself 'cannot induce the Netherlands Government to revise the conclusions set out in its note [5] of 11th December';

(B) No reference is made in Hatta's letter to truce violations though the Republic is well aware of the importance attached by the Netherlands to the truce observance;

(C) As the Republican report on direct talks [6] mentions certain points which the Republic considers essential and on which the Netherlands' agreement could not be obtained and as the same report indicates that the Republic has reached the extreme limit of possible concessions, the Netherlands does not agree that any misunderstandings can exist;

(D) Though Hatta's letter refers to the opinions of the Republican Government the contents of the letter are on a number of essential points not sufficiently formulated to constitute a starting point for effective discussions;

(E) The Netherlands Government would willingly have resumed negotiations if the Republican Government had declared its willingness to take forthwith measures desired by the Netherlands regarding truce violations and if Hatta instead of giving personal views had made a declaration binding the Republican Government that the Republican Government concurs in:-

(1) The incorporation of the Republic in the Federal Organisation on the same footing as the other Federal areas;

(2) Expansion of position and authority of the high representative as set out in draft of Interim Government decree (K205 paragraph 1 (D));

(3) The articles in the above mentioned decree concerning Federal forces, states of war and siege and state insecurity;

(F) The Netherlands Government maintains its point of view that the continuation of negotiations is futile unless such a binding declaration is received forthwith and still considers immediate promulgation of BIO decree [7] necessary;

2. Schuurman's telegram concludes with a demand for a reply from the Republican Government to be 'in Batavia before Saturday 18th December 10 a.m.'.

1 Critchley, Herremans and Lisle attended a meeting of the Committee of Good Offices in Kaliurang on 18 December. Cochran returned to Batavia from Kaliurang early on the same morning, joining Cutts.

2 An earlier cablegram (Document 371) was also numbered 'K210'.

3 The text of Schuurman's letter to Cochran dated 16 December and received by the latter on 17 December is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Third Year, Supplement for December, pp.218-20.

4 See Document 370.

5 See Document 364.

6 See Document 365.

7 The BIO, (Bewind Indonesie in Overgangstijd) Decree was the draft decree on the interim Government, the text of which was the result of negotiations between the Netherlands and representatives of the non-Republican territories.

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