17 Massey to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 1 SINGAPORE, 4 January 1949, 6.26 p.m.

5 January 1949, 8.30 a.m.


Following is summary of the present military situation from our source.


The Dutch have apparently completed operations for occupying the towns of importance without having fought any battle worth mentioning. This results from the tactics adopted by Republicans.

At the same time the Republican Headquarters in Java has reported to Colonel [Hi]dayat, Commander of the Republican Forces in Sumatra, that the Republican troops have finally achieved plans for the dislocation of guerilla units throughout Java.

Spoor's order of the day calling for cessation of hostilities [1] is interpreted by the Indonesians as the closing of one phase in the war and the opening of another which the Dutch described as mopping-up operations. Indonesian office believe that this latest Dutch move was only directed as a gesture towards the S.E.C.

Council, for according to the Republican defence plan, the real fighting is only to start after the Dutch have completed their town occupation operations, and Republican troops will commence continuous attacks on the Dutch-held positions. The Sumatra front has quite a different aspect. The Dutch here have not yet completed their operations. Rains have slowed down their advance and Acheh has not been touched. In areas where the Dutch have succeeded in occupying provincial towns, and thus have disposed of their troops, as in Western Sumatra, Tapanuli and part of Eastern Sumatra, developments have followed practically the same pattern as in Java. Ends.

1 See Document 15.

[AA : A1838, 403/2/3/2, iii]