78 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K79 BATAVIA, 19 February 1948, 10.20 p.m.

IMPORTANT SECRET

At its meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday 17th February, the Committee learned for the first time that the Netherlands Command had issued instructions to its local commanders that the period during which the Republic forces could be evacuated from Netherlands controlled territory was to end at midnight on that date and that any such forces reporting thereafter for evacuation [were to be treated] [1] provisionally as prisoners of war.

2. The Committee wrote immediately to Spoor urging that until the Committee could consult its Military Advisers and obtain from the Republicans an estimate of the date on which evacuations would be completed no action should be taken which might interfere with evacuations in progress.

3. The Netherlands Delegation have now replied that the Netherlands Command is satisfied, according to reports from local commanders, that evacuations can now be considered as terminated.

They regard this as solely their own responsibility.

1 The text in square brackets has been inserted from a copy on file AA:A10158, 37.

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