502 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K233 BATAVIA, 30 December 1948, 5.45 a.m.


Because of its composition the Consular Commission is likely to be of more assistance to the Dutch than to the Indonesians.

2. The United Kingdom is anxious that negotiations be resumed with the Republican leaders as soon as possible and that an interim Government be formed with the inclusion of figures such as Hatta.

The proposed visit to Bayreut [1] of Netherlands Minister to the United Kingdom [2] is probably connected with this approach.

3. On the other hand further negotiations would only be useful if there were a basic change of heart on the part of the Dutch which we cannot reasonably expect. Moreover with the Netherlands occupying the whole of Indonesia the Republican leaders may seriously weaken their popular support if they accept a dishonourable status in negotiations.

4. The main hope of a negotiated settlement depends upon the Security Council giving the power of arbitration to a third party or proposing a settlement on the basis of elections throughout Indonesia and other suggestions contained in the Committee's plans.

5. With the Security Council unwilling to take strong action against the Netherlands the future [of] Nationalism in Indonesia depends on the strength of the Indonesian people and support of individual countries in applying sanctions against the Dutch.

Collective action by South East Asia and Middle Eastern countries would have the further advantage of bringing home to the Western Powers the dangers of the Netherlands policy. India is considering the calling of a Pan Asiatic conference on the Indonesian question.

6. While the Dutch official releases to date contain hardly any references to sabotage or guerilla activities the Republican sources claim that this type of resistance is continuing on an increased scale. These sources claim that the Republican army and the Indonesians in general are only awaiting the results of the Security Council proceedings and that should these fail to force a fair settlement on the Dutch widespread guerilla activities will endanger Dutch lives and property throughout Indonesia.

7. There are reports that the Dutch after regrouping are intensifying their drive on the Republican-held areas in Sumatra.

1 This should presumably read: 'Batavia'.

2 E.F.J.M. Michiels van Verduynen. See Document 498.

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