41 Department of External Affairs to Critchley

Cablegram 22 CANBERRA, 4 February 1948, 4.20 p.m.

SECRET PERSONAL

Military Observers Government is most concerned that no Australian observer should become involved in the course of his duties in any shooting affray or other incident involving use of violence. If Dutch should become aware of this they might perhaps find it convenient to provoke an incident involving an Australian observer in the hope that we might decide to withdraw them all.

You should impress on all our observers that their task is essentially a peaceful one, and that they are there to investigate situations and supervise movements of troops and civilians etc.

Their duties are therefore not such as to invite trouble, and they should take all care to avoid becoming embroiled.

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