22 Australian Government to Noel-Baker, Embassy in Washington and Fraser

Cablegrams 2, 4, 2 CANBERRA, 5 January 1949, 6 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

INDONESIA

We have now received formal invitation from Government of India to participate in Asian Conference on Indonesia.

2. This proposal is direct outcome of failure of Security Council to take any action to restrain Dutch, even in spite of their obvious and deliberate defiance of Security Council orders. Even an order to withdraw troops, to release political leaders and to recommence negotiations under Good Offices Committee would have been sufficient to prevent a reaction in Asia of this kind.

3. Our understanding was that the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of the United States of America were favourable to Security Council action along these lines. But, for some reason or other, the resolutions before the Council were defeated.

4. The Security Council will meet at the end of this week and, if lack of decision by it has been due to procedural matters and in spite of virtual agreement, then it should be possible for United States and United Kingdom Governments to reintroduce an appropriate resolution and have it carried without further debate and without taking any further notice of defiant statements by the Dutch and assertions of fighting being at an end.

5. The Australian Government has decided to send to the Conference proposed by the Government of India to discuss the Indonesian situation two senior officers of the Department of External Affairs, the Secretary, Dr. J.W. Burton, and a Political Counsellor, Mr. C.T. Moodie, who was previously attached to the Australian High Commissioner's Office at New Delhi. Their main objective will be to explore means by which the United Nations, and the Security Council in particular, can assist in bringing about in Indonesia a speedy, just and lasting settlement of the present dispute. These Officers will report back to the Government the views of the Conference. If, before the Conference is convened, the Security Council acts in such a way as to make unnecessary this regional consultation, the decision of the Government may be changed.

6. We regard the regional consultation suggested in the invitation as being in complete accord with the Charter and designed to assist the Council in its work.

For Washington only- 7. Please discuss immediately with State Department.

[AA : A1838, 854/10/4/5]