509 Menon to Kevin

Letter NEW DELHI, 31 December 1948


As you are aware, the Security Council has adjourned until the 6th January (when it will reassemble at Lake Success) without taking any action on what is tantamount to Dutch refusal to comply even with the inadequate resolutions adopted so far. The Prime Minister feels that continued Dutch intransigence is more than a mere possibility. It would greatly help the Indonesian cause if interested Governments in this region were to consider among themselves actively, and as soon as possible, what action they should take to help the Security Council to deal effectively with Dutch resistance in defiance or evasion of the proposals for a prompt and just settlement of the Indonesian problem. It is true that consultations among the permanent Delegates to the United Nations of interested countries will go some way towards a concerted approach to this problem. You will agree, however, that policy cannot be determined by the permanent Delegates in New York but only by responsible Ministers. The Government of India would, therefore, suggest that a conference at Ministerial level of the representatives of the Governments of Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, China, Burma, Siam, Ceylon, Pakistan and Australia should meet at a convenient place in Asia as soon as possible to discuss ways and means of dealing with the Indonesian issue. The Government of India will be glad to act as hosts to the proposed conference in New Delhi. In view of the urgency of the matter, they suggest that the conference should meet on the 10th or 16th January. The Government of India sincerely hope that your Government will respond favourably to the suggestion. It is hardly necessary to add that the conference is not designed to supersede in any way the activities of the Security Council but only to lend the Council the support derived from the united understanding of the countries of this region among themselves.

2. We have sent a message accordingly to our High Commissioner in Canberra to be communicated to your Government. The Prime Minister will be grateful if you will lend your support to this suggestion.

[AA : A5009/2, A7/3/13, ii]