161 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K258 BATAVIA, 26 January 1949, 12.40 p.m.

Following is a summary of a report on the military situation forwarded to the Security Council on January 24th. [1]

(1) Disadvantages are arising from the location of military observers with various Netherlands Headquarters in areas recently occupied which means they are denied access to (a) Former Netherlands-controlled areas such as West Java, movements into which by armed Republican adherents have been reported.

(b) Areas in former Republican territory outside the main towns and roads.

(c) Republican sources.

(2) Practically all large towns and important installations given to Netherlands units as objectives were taken when Spoor's 'cease hostilities' orders [2] were issued.

(3) As a result of Republican guerilla tactics and sabotage (a) It is impossible for the Netherlands forces to cease fire, (b) Roads are considered unsafe, (c) Inhabitants are uneasy and afraid of reprisals, (d) Netherlands have insufficient forces for adequate patrolling, (e) Law and order have not been established in former Republican territory, but on the contrary serious disorders have been created.

(4) There has been a large amount of damage and there is economic confusion in most of the territory formerly controlled by the Republic.

(5) Newly occupied areas are still under military control.

(6) In conclusion 'to be completely effective a cessation of hostilities necessarily must be agreed upon by both parties. Since the Republican Government has been prevented from functioning there is no authority on the Republican side to implement the Security Council's resolution [3] directing both parties "Cease hostilities". Despite the Netherlands order to its troops to "cease hostilities" such cessation has not been and cannot be attained in the present situation.'

1 See note 1 to Document 153.

2 See Document 15.

3 See note 3 to Document 31.

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