63 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K65 BATAVIA, 13 February 1948, 7 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

The Chairman [1] presented to the Netherlands Delegation today the Committee's best estimate of availability of Military Assistants as follows. United States 15, Australia 15, United Kingdom 10, France 6, China 5, Belgium 4. Total 55. The Delegation was asked to state specific maximum numbers which it would accept within these limits.

2. Van Vredenburch considered this number and proportions satisfactory and will telephone The Hague this evening to obtain a decision. Eaton will confirm as soon as possible.

3. The improvement in the Dutch attitude may be attributed in part to the United States decision to increase the number of its assistants and also to the British pressure which British Consul General informs me that he has requested.

4. The Netherlands officials expressed surprise and indignation at the Committee's New York press statement. [2] They have issued a statement in reply claiming inter alia that 'there are serious misapprehensions on the side of the Committee of Good Offices in respect of its task, its competence and factual situation in the N.E.I.' 5. Meeting of the Steering Committee was cancelled this morning at the last minute. Understand unofficially the reason [was] New York press, statement.

1 Herremans, the Chairman of the week of the Committee of Good Offices.

2 The Committee of Good Offices published its First Interim Report on 12 February and on the same day at Lake Success gave a press conference from which Van Zeeland was absent due to ill health.

The text of the Committee's First Interim Report, with appendixes and annexes, is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Third Year, Special Supplement No.1, pp.1-77.

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