445 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K223 BATAVIA, [23 December] 1948


The Committee and staff arrived at Batavia on the evening of December 22nd and approved the text of telegram to the Security Council set out in K.222.

2. The only warning the Committee or the Republican Government received of the Netherlands intention to repudiate the truce was the ultimative characteristic letter of December 17th to the U.S.

representative (K.210). [1]

3. Djokjakarta was taken by surprise. Many Republicans seemed to have confused the Dutch attack with the Republican manoeuvres scheduled for the same morning. The capital was therefore taken with comparatively little fighting. Most of the Republican army units succeeded in their plans to escape intact to carry on a guerilla campaign. Damage to the city was not considerable but there were still very few people on the streets on December 22nd.

Some resistance especially at night is continuing in the areas close to the city. Shortly after the Committee left on the afternoon of December 22nd, a large fire broke out in what appeared to be the centre of Djokjakarta.

4. There were reports in Djokjakarta of heavier fighting elsewhere particularly near Malang, East Java, and very great destruction in Solomon [2] and Magelang.

5. Yesterday's official Dutch release reports that before the capture of Tjepoe the oil installations and the town were set on fire, Boekittinggi the Republican capital in Sumatra has been occupied by the Dutch troops.

1 See Document 381.

2 A sign here indicates 'as received'. This should presumably read 'Solo'.

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