261 Evatt to Burton

Cablegram 164 NEW DELHI, 1 March 1949, 10.30 p.m.



Your telegram No. 99. [1]

I agree with the general analysis telegram. However, Nehru said to me yesterday that he regarded the Dutch reply [2] as indirect contradiction with the Security Council decision. [3] I think therefore that our representative [4] in New York should act with great care and restraint. We do not want mere forms to stand in the way of a lasting settlement if that settlement is in general accord with the Security Council principles. Such a settlement may still be possible unless the Dutch are playing a deliberately tricky game.

2. It should be emphasised that any talks whatever must take place within the framework of the Security Council's Commission and under its direct supervision. From the United Nations point of view this is absolutely essential. It is equally essential that Cochran should not in any way attempt to act without the authority of his two colleagues.

3. The actual location of the meeting of the Commission is not in itself of supreme importance. I think New York is the best place but as between The Hague and Batavia, The Hague might be preferable having regard to the proved anti-Indonesian bias of the Dutch political representatives at Batavia. I would be quite prepared to let the Dutch save their face a little if they would comply with the substance of the decision remembering always that sanctions as I have always pointed out would be impracticable in operation.

4. It is not a question therefore of accepting the Dutch counter proposal under protest but of a decision of the Security Council or its Commission to meet in the first instance at a suitable place to carry out the principles of the Security Council's decision and under the direct auspices of the Commission of Three.

The handling of the situation has got to be very skilful because I do not want open opposition from India while at the same time we do earnestly desire a United Nations success in the interests of our general policy.

1 Document 257 and note 1 thereto.

2 See Document 249.

3 Document 168.

4 J.D.L. Hood.

[AA : A9420/1, 4]