250 McIntyre to Burton

Minute CANBERRA, 28 February 1949


In the light of latest developments and assuming that the Commission at Batavia will be sending the Security Council today a strongly critical report of Dutch non-compliance with the Security Council's Resolution [1], there seem to be three things on which we have to determine our attitude:

(i) How far can we try to urge the Security Council to go? It seems to me the Security Council has only three alternatives:

(a) To discuss the Commission's report, and at the end merely take note of what the Dutch have not done and call on them again to do it, while at the same time shrinking from any sanctions or any other enforcement measures.

(b) To take note of Dutch proposals and lay down a time limit within which they are to be carried through.

(c) To get down to, or at least to discuss, means of forcing the Dutch to obey the Resolution to the letter.

Of these, the first would clearly be the most futile and the worst for the reputation of the Security Council. The second, while possibly the most 'realistic', could be represented as complete retreat by the Council, leaving the initiative in Dutch hands and giving them carte blanche to go ahead with their plans. The third brings us back to how far we are prepared to go on enforcement measures. It will be dangerous to 'go to town' on enforcement unless we have some clear idea of what is feasible and how far we are ourselves prepared to go. (We might of course decide that we can go on record strongly in favour of sanctions in the knowledge that the Council will not agree to real sanctions anyway.) I feel that the least we can do is to press our earlier suggestion that the Council ask its Commission for recommendations on what enforcement measures might be taken against the Dutch.

(ii) Should we take part in an informal meeting of the New Delhi Conference countries in New York before the Security Council considers Indonesia? If only for consistency there is every reason why we should. But before doing so we should preferably have our ideas clear in respect to (i).

(iii) Should the Commission accept Dutch invitation to the proposed Round Table Conference at The Hague? The danger is that, if it does not do so, the Dutch may succeed in putting something over the Republicans and the B.F.O. by pressure tactics in The Hague atmosphere.

2. I attach some suggested drafts. [2] I really think that the only factors-short of real sanctions-that are going to bring the Dutch up short, and take the initiative out of their hands, are sustained guerilla activity by the Republicans, combined with refusal of the B.F.O. (non-Republican States), to go along with the Dutch plans. The Republicans seem to be convinced that their guerillas are giving the Dutch a great deal of trouble, and this is probably true, though I do not think it would be decisive.

3. Critchley's recent telegrams suggest however that the B.F.O.

(without whose support and co-operation the Dutch cannot set up even a puppet government that would look convincing) could usefully be worked on and stiffened up.

1 Document 168.

2 McIntyre's attachments were draft cablegrams dated 28 February from the Department of External Affairs to Critchley and Hood. The draft cablegrams instructed Hood to suggest to the Security Council that the Council should ask the UN Commission for Indonesia to recommend measures to compel the Netherlands to observe the resolution of 28 January (Document 168) 'in every particular'. The draft cablegrams also advised Hood and Critchley that the Commission should be represented at the Round Table Conference to prevent the Netherlands 'putting something over the Republicans and B.F.O. by high pressure tactics'. Neither draft cablegram was sent.

[AA : A1838, 401/3/1/1, vi]