487 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K231 [1] BATAVIA, 29 December 1948, 1.45 a.m.

IMMEDIATE CONFIDENTIAL

The Committee today, December 28th, sent a firm letter to the acting Chairman of the Netherlands Delegation asking for an immediate answer to the following questions:

1. Has the Government issued any orders to cease hostilities? 2. If so, at what time or times were such orders issued? 3. Are there any orders in preparation for issuance during the next 24 hours? 4. Have any orders been issued to release political prisoners? 5. If so, which members are included and how far have orders been carried into effect? 6. What is the place of detention of the main political prisoners not released? 7. To what extent do those who have been released have freedom of movement, of activity? The Committee has also asked whether there would be any objection to personal contacts between the Committee representatives and the Republican officials under detention or otherwise.

2. On procedural grounds a similar letter was sent to the Secretary General of the Republican Delegation. He has replied that he is unable to contact members of the Hatta Government or of his Delegation and that he has received no information about them.

3. The Committee has asked the Netherlands to reply by midnight tonight when a further report will be telegraphed to the Security Council on the basis of the letters and such replies as are received.

4. Provisionally, the Republican Government in Sumatra has broadcast that no decision regarding the resolution of the Security Council should be taken without its consultation and that the Republican armed forces should only cease fire by order of the head of the Provincial [2] Government.

1 Although this cablegram was received 55 minutes later than Cablegram K232 (Document 488), it precedes the latter in the 'K' series and therefore appears before it in this Volume.

2 This should presumably read: 'Provisional'.

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