207 Embassy in Washington to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 125 WASHINGTON, 11 February 1949, 7.55 p.m.

IMMEDIATE CONFIDENTIAL

INDONESIA

Further to UN.104 [1], we spoke to State Department today on lines of your 87. [2] They have received long report [3] from Cochran, summary of which has been cabled to United States Deputy [4] in Batavia. According to Cochran's account, he used every effort to convince Netherlands Cabinet and other leaders that it was in their interests to comply with Security Council's resolution [5], and pointed out 'unpleasant results' which will follow from their failure to do so. Cochran did not know precisely results of his arguments, but believed there was fair prospect that Netherlands Government were convinced of necessity to take some steps to satisfy Security Council. (On the basis of Cochran's and other reports State Department consider Dutch may release the Republican leaders and give them facilities, although not necessarily allowing them to establish an administration in Djocjakarta.) One of Cochran's objectives, which he believes he has achieved, was to prevent any precipitate Cabinet decision disregarding Security Council resolution completely.

2. State Department have been considering what action Security Council should take, but at moment have not arrived at any plan which they feel would have a compelling effect on the Dutch.

United States action will be determined in light of Commission's report, which is now being drafted by Critchley, Herremans, and United States Deputy, which will be completed after arrival of Cochran. State Department assume report will contain recommendations by Commission as well as reporting extent, if any, of Dutch compliance. It would not, however, be the function of the Commission to suggest to the Council what action they should take, e.g. by punitive measures, to obtain compliance.

3. One factor which we believe constantly affects United States policy is extent of guerrilla activity. While United States desires cessation of hostilities by both parties they will be more inclined to take initiative in the Security Council if there is clear evidence that Republic is a continuing reality. United States does not wish to be in position of attempting resurrection of entity without strong roots amongst Indonesian people. Tragic as it is, guerrilla warfare is perhaps one of the best barometers of popular support for Republic. Any first hand information you can give State Department showing activity by Republican forces would, therefore, be helpful.

1 Document 208.

2 Document 204.

3 The text of this report, cabled by Cochran to the US State Department on 9 February, is given in Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1949, vol. VII, Washington, 1975, pp.212-23.

4 R.E. Lisle.

5 Document 168.

[AA : A1838, 402/6/1/1, ii]