467 Department of External Affairs to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 1033 CANBERRA, 25 December 1948, 6 p.m.

IMMEDIATE CONFIDENTIAL

Your 1309. [1] Thank you for keeping at it. United States hold key to situation. They must not at this stage let matters ride. We agree it would be damaging to United Nations if withdrawal not effective but even more damaging if we do not sustain effort. In view of Netherlands attitude and accurate press reports of United States Military equipment [2] in our view United States has no option but to withdraw aid from Netherlands if cease-fire not operative.

2. You should revert again to longer term interests in this area.

The vital nature of this matter to Western Democratic influence in South East Asia cannot be overstated equally the tactical importance of retaining lead and initiative and not allowing Soviet to champion cause. At the moment they have lost ground through abstaining on votes which favour Indonesians. Keep pestering them.

1 Document 461.

2 The reference is presumably to press reports that the Netherlands Army was equipped partially by US aid to the Netherlands.

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