463 Kevin to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 509 NEW DELHI, 24 December 1948, 11.05 p.m.


We have sighted the telegram which Nehru sent last Wednesday to Thakin Nu, the Burmese Prime Minister, in reply to the latter's proposal for an Asian Conference in support of the Republic. This document states that such a Conference should await the outcome of the Security Council's decision but that if it should prove necessary India will take the initiative in convening it. The telegram mentions that India had approached Ceylon and Pakistan proposing an embargo on Dutch planes and suggested that Burma might follow suit.

2. Our immediately following telegram contains the text of a statement which Soedars[onol handed out at a press conference this morning. A number of questions were put to him some of which he did not appear to grasp and others which were answered with some uncertainty. Asked whether he believed that Dutch aggression had been made possible by Marshall Aid to Holland, he replied affirmatively; asked whether he thought that the Nationalists in Indonesia would tend to join the Communists he said that he thought that there might be a tendency to unity against Imperialism. He gave the number of Dutch troops engaged as 140,000 of whom he said 30,000 were Indonesian elements. He gave no clear answer to our question as to whether any economic groups in Indonesia would support the Dutch. Questioned as to the amount of British and American Capital in Java in proportion to Dutch he answered by saying that 75 per cent of foreign capital was Dutch.

Further questioned he replied that it was not intended to set up a Government in exile at present and that an Indonesian Government was in fact in operation in Sumatra under Dr. Hassan.

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