88 Kirby to Burton

Cablegram UN171 NEW YORK, 24 February 1948, 9.50 p.m.


1. Your 109 repeating Critchley's K.80. [1] After discussion to- day with Sastroamidjojo, Palar and Choa, I agree with Critchley's suggestions in paragraph 4 with the addition of a proviso that the four Republican representatives be chosen by Republic and not nominated by Dutch.

2. In the Security Council debates as you will have observed, the main discussion has been as to whether the suggestion made by me that the Committee's powers be strengthened should be adopted in the resolution of the Council. The most optimistic calculation at present would indicate four supporting votes, namely China, Syria, Colombia and the Untied Kingdom, three abstentions, namely, France, Belgium and Argentine, four doubtful, namely United States, Canada, Russia and Ukraine.

3. Graham has left for North Carolina and Van Zeeland for Belgium.

Graham personally is in favour of strengthened powers but before he left he told me he believed Senator Austin and State Department advisers inclined to oppose because suggested strengthened powers would change the character of the Committee. Belgium has informally but definitely stated she will abstain.

4. We need three more supporting votes out of the four doubtful members. The attitude of Russia and Ukraine is not known.

5. We are doing what we can here but you may be able to help at your end with both groups. I am lunching with Tsiang (China) tomorrow who may be able to influence Canada and United States and will also see Cadogan to that end.

6. On whole picture I feel that if the Council confirms my suggested strengthening of Committee's powers Republic will be in a much stronger position than before the debate in view of the following- (A) Right of direct approach to the Council given by Canadian resolution [2] in present form.

(B) Strengthened powers of Committee; and (C) The fact that members of the Council do not appear so chary of dealing with the Indonesian question as before.

In simplification of these three points I think that enough has been said on difficulties to interest the members without frightening them off and that Council would be ripe for stronger dealing with Dutch if they evade their responsibilities in future and Republic and Committee present a proved case against them on a material matter.

7. There is no doubt from our observation here and from Critchley's telegrams that American pressure is being exerted on the Dutch but we feel that all America wants is some sort of early settlement without being over particular of the Republic's interests. The trouble is that Graham had at the end little influence with the State Department and now he has really left the Committee. Further, Americans do not now view me or Forsyth with any great favour and it is hard to exert any influence on them. I fear their pressure may for the second time be applied in a manner not really beneficial to the Republic as to which see my cable [3] from Jogjakarta on the eve of Republican acceptance of truce plan and political principles.

1 Dispatched on 23 February, it conveyed the text of Document 81.

2 Document 68.

3 Document 21.

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