429 Department of External Affairs to High Commission in Ottawa

Cablegram 320 [CANBERRA, 22 December 1948, 6.15 p.m.] [1]

Indonesia. We have passed over to Canadian High Commissioner here telegrams on Indonesia even confidential instructions to Hodgson at Paris. We have also instructed Hodgson to keep Canadian representative on Security Council fully informed. In these circumstances we have not taken steps to repeat to you all telegrams. Our 318 [2] indicated the general lines of our intended policy in the Security Council. This has subsequently been approved by Cabinet with the exception that Government does not wish to make firm decision on sanctions or punitive action under Article 41 pending definition of United States and United Kingdom views. Government would favour supporting United States but would hope United Kingdom would join later.

2. You should make known to the Canadian Government that we are concerned with the wider issues. We have persistently tried to build up a bridge between the West and the Asians in circumstances where Nationalism has been running in the opposite direction. We supported what we consider to be the just claims of the Republicans while recognizing the rights of the Dutch particularly during the interim period before sovereignty was transferred and we have been influenced in this by the belief that the Hatta Government was the best hope of maintaining a stable and moderate government in the Republican areas. The blow to the prestige of the West in Asia may be irreparable. Failure of Western Powers to deter the Dutch will have repercussions throughout Asia.

3. Whether the position can be restored depends on the Security Council and on the willingness of the United States and the United Kingdom to face up to firm action. If Western countries miss this opportunity to prevent further widening of the division between Asians and Western countries, the repercussions will not only be local but represent a further blow to the United Nations.

1 Inserted from a copy on file AA: A1838, 854/10/4/3, i.

2 Dispatched on 20 December, it conveyed the substance of Document 396.

[AA:A3100/1, G48/124]