484 Embassy in Washington to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 1318 WASHINGTON, 27 December 1948, 5.29 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

MY 1317. [1]

Saw Lacy S.E.A. Section and McClintock United Nations Office State Department today.

McClintock made it clear that no decision had been reached to take the initiative in seeking a reference of the question of jurisdiction to the International Court. State Department was still exploring the possibility but had not yet received the views of France, United Kingdom and Canada. It thought that France might support the move particularly if it thought a decision favourable to the Dutch was unlikely. The reaction of the Netherlands Embassy had been obtained. The latter's unofficial opinion was that Netherlands would be willing to carry out decision of Security Council if Court's decision went against Netherlands. Department considered that if reference made to Court, essential that Council's freedom of action be retained pending decision. It considered that nothing of importance likely to take place in Council before re-opening in New York on 6th January. Diplomatic activity in interim might prove useful.

Department considered that Dutch really concerned at world reaction and were gambling on quick success and being able to put up sufficient Indonesians prepared to work with them to establish U.S.I. in January thereafter relying on fait accompli.

Both officers were of opinion that United States initiative was at least temporarily exhausted.

1 Document 478.

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