145 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K254 BATAVIA, 22 January 1949, 4.05 p.m.


It appears that the Dutch are surprised and concerned at the lack of co-operation they are receiving in territories previously under the control of the Republic. I believe the stage has been reached where they could be forced to guarantee specific dates for free elections and for transfer of full sovereignty to Indonesia.

2. Restoration of Republican administration is a more difficult problem. Prominent Republicans such as Sjahrir and Leimena admit the danger of withdrawing Dutch forces from the main towns before other Security forces under a Republican or international control are ready to take their place. Sjahrir favours a scheme of gradual withdrawal, such as proposed by the United States. He stresses, however, that it should be worked out in detail and backed, if possible, by an international police force of, say, two thousand.

According to Van Hoogstraten, promises have been given to local habitants that the Dutch will not withdraw their troops.

3. Pringgodigdo, of the Republican Delegation, has forwarded personally to the United States representative, a first hand report from Djokjakarta confirming that:

(a) In Central Java, the Dutch control only the towns. The Republic administration is still functioning in other areas and within five kilometres of Djokjakarta.

(b) Even in the towns the Dutch have failed in their attempt to restore civil administration.

(c) Guerilla activities continue unabated. As the Dutch are confined to the towns, T.N.I. are operating on the plains and have not yet found it necessary to withdraw to the hills as planned.

(d) Netherlands troops, particularly Ambonese, are exacting savage reprisals on the population.

(e) As a result of the police action many Republicans have lost faith in the sincerity of American policy towards Indonesia.

4. The manager of a British company with estates in East Java has shown me letters confirming that a Republican T.N.I. unit 600 strong with automatic weapons is at present moving freely in the vicinity of Djember and is attacking and destroying estates in daylight.

[AA : A1838, 403/2/2/2, vi b]