197 Pritchett to Burton

Memorandum BATAVIA, 8 February 1949

Further to my telegram No. 5 [1] of 6th January, the Consular Commission met again on 6th, 8th and 14th January, and 2nd February.

2. At the fourth meeting on 6th January, the Commission considered certain points raised by the Chairman of the Committee of Good Offices, Mr. Critchley, concerning the Commission's cable [2] to the Security Council seeking clarification of its task and reporting its position in relation to the Committee and the Military Observers. The Chairman of the Commission suggested two minor amendments to the text which would eliminate the impression that there was conflict between the Commission and the Committee.

The French member [3] protested that there was conflict between the two bodies, since the Committee refused to release the Commission's Military Observers and thus prevented the Commission from performing its duties. It was pointed out that the Commission had never requested the Committee to release the Military Observers and after some discussion the French member agreed not to maintain his objection, and the amendments to the cable were adopted. (A copy of the cable is attached). [4] The Commission decided not to take advantage of an invitation from Mr. Critchley to give instructions to the Military Observers through the Committee's Military Executive Board.

3. At the meeting on 8th January, the French member formally proposed that the Commission withdraw its Military Observers from the Committee. This motion was defeated by the votes of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, with Belgium and China abstaining. The French member then made a statement claiming that the Commission had deliberately deprived itself of the means of implementing the Security Council's resolution [5] of 28th December, 1948, and reserved his position regarding this decision. After this the Commission heard a report from the British Military and the American Naval Consular Liaison Officers, who had just returned from a short tour of the Java interior at the invitation of the Netherlands Military authorities. I understand that Mr. Critchley forwarded to you the notes [6] on this report.

4. The Commission met for the sixth time on 14th January, to consider a letter from the French member. The letter drew attention to Directive No. 5 of the Committee's Military Executive Board, in which, under the heading 'General Information', was set out the Security Council's Resolution of 28th December, 1948, directed to the Consular Commission; the letter pointed out that the instructions which followed in the Directive might be interpreted as being intended to implement this Resolution; if this were the case, then the French member wished to make it clear that he considered that the Committee of Good Offices was not competent to issue such instructions and that it was for the Commission to do this. The Commission decided to note the letter and declare its agreement with the ideas expressed in it, but to take no action for the time being.

5. The Commission met finally on 2nd February, and taking note of sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph 4 of the Security Council's Resolution [7] of 28th January, decided that there was nothing further for it to do at present and adjourned indefinitely.

1 Document 34.

2 For the text see Document S/1190, report date 6 January from the Chairman of the Consular Commission in Batavia to the President of the Security Council in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Fourth Year, Supplement for January, pp.17-18.

3 P.J. Salade.

4 Not published.

5 See note 4 to Document 31.

6 See Document 57.

7 Document 168.

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