52 Eaton to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram unnumbered BATAVIA, 10 February 1948, 10.56 p.m.

Press release Reports reaching the Committee of Good Offices from its Military Assistants in the field have shown that on the whole the implementation of the evacuation of Republican troops from Netherlands-controlled areas has proceeded smoothly and without serious incident. The Committee has been informed that owing to the good progress which has been made and because of unavoidable delays in completing the movements in certain areas local Netherlands commanders have been authorised to extend the original twenty-one day period of the evacuation [1] where they consider such an extension warranted and necessary. By midnight on 7th February when the twenty-one day period ended more than 11,000 Republican combatants had been evacuated from pockets in Java. It is known that at least 4,000 have been evacuated since then although this figure will doubtless be revised upward as further reports are received covering the period between 7th and 10th February. In Sumatra few Republican groups were located behind Netherlands forward positions and hence evacuations have been on a small scale. Republican units in some areas have however withdrawn from the status quo line in preparation for the delimitation of demilitarised zones. In one area in East Java the situation is not yet satisfactory. Around Loemadjang no evacuation of Republican combatants has yet been effected. However new and promising steps have been taken in the area to effect contact with Republican commanders in inaccessible regions and it is expected that the major difficulties will be resolved within the next few days. For the rest none of the pockets remain which were known to have existed in the extreme Western part of Java in West Java, Central Java and the remainder of East Java. The bulk of these evacuees was moved by rail and truck convoy to concentration centres from which they were transported by ship and rail to Republican controlled territory. Most of the evacuees were concentrated at Cheribon for movement by sea to Rembang. Over 8,000 have been shipped out of Cheribon. Many more have been moved out by train.

In Republican controlled territory trains and trucks have conveyed approximately 5,000 through Gombong. Several hundred have been sent by truck to Maloewoeng. Of Republican groups remaining in Netherlands-controlled areas of Java (exclusive of East Java) most are awaiting transportation. Considerable congestion has occurred in Cheribon and Gombong and attempts are being made to regulate the inflow until out-going distribution can be effected. The creation of demilitarised zones constituting the second phase of the truce agreement has been proceeding in both Java and Sumatra.

1 See Article 8 of Document 22.

[AA:A1838, 403/3/1/1, xv]