19 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram 3 CANBERRA, 5 January 1949, 1.50 p.m.


When Council meets, it will be argued that Dutch have sent high ranking representatives to Batavia to negotiate and no action should be taken pending outcome of visit. [1] This procedure was followed after first police action and again at recent meetings at Paris. It is only a means of stalling and result is obvious. Talks might recommence but they will break down at same point and Dutch will find yet another excuse for further action. Council should be warned of this and asked to insist, regardless of any Dutch move, that all negotiations take place in the presence of the Good Offices Committee and only after a situation has been created which avoids duress, that is, withdrawal of troops and complete freedom of political leaders. Any elections should be under Good Offices Committee supervision and Good Offices Committee should decide timetable of elections and ultimate sovereignty.

2. Any move to order Indonesians to cease fire now that Dutch claim to have stopped fighting should be resisted, unless it is accompanied by an order to Dutch to withdraw. Technically the Indonesians have not yet broken truce as they are fighting within demarcation line.

1 The Netherlands Government had sent to Indonesia the Prime Minister, Willem Drees, and the Ambassador to the United Kingdom, E.F.M.J. Michiels van Verduynen.

[AA : A1838, 854/10/4/3, iii b]