73 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K74 BATAVIA, 16 February 1948, 6 p.m.

SECRET

Roem tells me that on the advice of the Americans he cabled urgently to the Republic's Representatives to the Security Council:

(1) That political talks should continue as soon as possible.

(2) That it is hoped that the Security Council discussions on the report of the Committee [1] will not take long so that this can be no reason for delay in negotiations.

(3) That Republican Representatives at the Security Council should not attack the Dutch first.

(4) That Representatives, before taking any action, should consult the Committee of Good Offices.

I pointed out to Roem that lengthy discussions in the Security Council might well be to the advantage of the Republic particularly as there are a number of important issues on which world attention is focussed. Moreover, it would be a mistake if his instructions were construed by the Republic's Representatives to prevent reference to such an important matter as the formation of new states in Java.

Roem replied that instruction to consult the Committee of Good Offices would provide an opportunity for Committee, and by implication, Kirby to advise the Delegates against action prejudicial to the Republic. Roem has gone to Djokjakarta this morning where he will consult Hatta and if necessary send a further telegram to New York.

It is possible that the Americans may be endeavouring to limit Kirby's influence in New York. If so I suggest full use of (4) above. Van Vredenburch's visit to the Netherlands is scheduled for about ten days. My guess is that he may go on to New York if Council discussions are detailed, as Van Mook seems to have no confidence in Van Kleffens. I understand that Van Mook will announce this evening or tomorrow morning the formation of an interim Federal Government in which the Republic will not be represented. Details will be forwarded as soon as possible. This development has no doubt been hastened by Hatta's letter to which Van Mook has now replied. [2] He has quoted principles one and two of documents S.A.C. 10-2-4 [3] and indicated that Republic will be able to participate after a political agreement. The Dutch seem anxious to get the government structure created before political talks commence and to present to Committee and to Republic yet another fait accompli. So far this bears out paragraph 8 of my telegram K60. [4]

1 i.e. the First Interim Report of the Committee of Good Offices (see note 2 to Document 63).

2 In a letter to Hatta dated 12 February, Van Mook argued that 'it is self-evident that there can only be a question about the formation of a pre-federal government for all of Indonesia, when a political agreement has been reached with the Government of the Republic.' See Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1948, vol. VI, Washington, 1974, p.99.

3 i.e. Principles 1 and 2 of Document 24.

4 Paragraph 8 of Document 53.

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