23 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K238 BATAVIA, 5 January 1949, 1 p.m.

My telegram K237. [1]

Following telegram has been sent by the Republic in Batavia to the Republican Representative in India.

'Points for Asian Conference.

(a) The Dutch should be blamed as the aggressor.

(b) Following proposals should be put forward as basis for an immediate settlement:-

(1) Immediate release of the President Soekarno, Hatta and his Government and other Republican leaders.

(2) Freedom of movement and expression for the released leaders.

(3) Restoration of Republican Government in territories controlled by the Republic before the second military action.

(4) Economic assistance to the territories suffering from the effects of the Netherlands blockade and since the devastation by the war.

(5) Retirement of the Dutch troops to defined garrisons.

(6) Formation of an Interim Government for the whole of Indonesia in which the Republic would participate with fair representation.

(7) An Indonesian Interim Government to have real powers in the Legislative, Executive and Military matters while the Netherlands to have overriding power in certain specifically defined cases during the interim period.

(8) Elections throughout Indonesia to be held in June 1949 to form a Constituent Assembly which shall decide on the constitution of the U.S.I. and delineation of states within the U.S.I. and statute of the Netherlands-Indonesian Union.

(9) Sovereignty to be transferred to a fully independent United States of Indonesia by December 1st, 1949, at the latest.

(10) Indonesian problem to remain on the agenda of the Security Council; consequently G.O.C. to remain in Indonesia until transfer of sovereignty to U.S.I.

(c) Every pressure to be exerted on United States and United Kingdom to support foregoing proposals as a basis for a settlement.

(d) In the event of the Dutch refusing to release the President and other political prisoners or refusing a settlement on foregoing basis following measures may be taken:-

(1) Imposition of all possible sanctions against the Netherlands including:-

(a) Prohibitions on all trade to or from the Netherlands and Indonesia, (b) Prohibition against the use by the Netherlands operators of harbours, air fields or any communication facilities in countries concerned.

(2) Pressure on United States to stop all Marshall Aid to the Netherlands.

(3) Recognition of emergency Government of Sjaffrudin Prawiranegara in Sumatra and in case the Government is deemed to be unable to function consideration of establishing an Emigre Government in New Delhi or elsewhere.

(4) Material and all other possible support to aid guerilla struggle in Indonesia.

(e) Background information for Asian Conference:

(1) There is considerable unrest throughout Java and Sumatra and even in South East Borneo where Martial law has been proclaimed.

(2) The guerilla struggle in the whole of Java and Sumatra is being intensified. The TNI is undefeated and has dispersed to carry out guerilla warfare under Supreme Command of Colonel Nasuti[o]n in Java and Colonel Hidayat in Sumatra.

(3) A scorched earth policy is being carried out successfully, estates, plantations, railways and important buildings are being destroyed.

(4) Republican Officials are not co-operating with the Dutch Administration in military-occupied territories of the Republic.

(5) The people maintain a hostile attitude to the Dutch Administration.'

2. The above telegram has been repeated to Palar along with additional information:-

'(a) No contact possible until President Soekarno or the Vice President Hatta or with the Republican Minister.

(b) It is reported that Soekarno, Hatta and Sjahrir are kept in Sumatra and other islands outside Java separated from each other.

(c) We do not think Soekarno, Hatta or other[s] with [2] will accept negotiations.

(d) The purpose of visit of Drees is not known, probably he will form an Interim Government.'

1 Cablegram K237 (Document 30) was not received in Canberra until 11.15 a.m. on 6 January.

2 A sign here indicates 'group apparently omitted'.

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