286 Forde to Department of External Affairs

Departmental Dispatch 13 OTTAWA, 8 March 1949

CONFIDENTIAL

INDONESIA

I refer to your telegram No. 56 [1] (No. 44 to London, repeated to New York as No. 127) of 4th March, 1949, on the above subject and to my reply No. 74 [2] of 5th March, 1949.

2. My latest telegram will have explained to you the position up to the time of my discussions with Mr. Escott Reid, the Acting Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs. The only additional information since then arose from a conversation between Mr.

Holmes, Head of the United Nations Division, Department of External Affairs, and my Official Secretary. A memorandum [3] covering this conversation is attached hereto.

3. The information gained by Mr. Cochran during his visit to The Hague was, no doubt, made known to you at the same time as it came to the notice of Mr. Hume Wrong in Washington. The lack of further developments in respect of Mr. Beel's resignation may itself be significant and the somewhat disingenuous attitude of the Netherlands Government in the last few weeks raises at least a slight possibility that the incident was 'staged' in order to gain further time. Naturally, I am not in a position to comment further on this possibility which will, no doubt, have been adequately covered by communications from The Hague.

4. It appears relatively certain that at some stage or other, it will be necessary to follow up the matter further with the Canadian Government. With this in view, I should be grateful if you would give early consideration (and advise me by cable as soon as possible) to the fact that in some circumstances it may be advisable to co-ordinate action here with the Indian High Commissioner. [4] It is probable that you will wish to maintain complete freedom of action in most circumstances and to make any representations necessary as an entirely separate entity. For example, it does not appear likely that an occasion will arise requiring joint presentation of views by the Indian High Commissioner and myself.

5. Nevertheless, I should like to be in a position where, if circumstances should require it, I can at least keep the Indian High Commissioner advised of some of the action to be taken by myself and to request similar information from him.

6. The circumstances in which such co-ordination might or might not be advisable are not likely to be known in Ottawa. I should, therefore, be glad if you would include, in any future telegrams on this subject requiring action by me, a direction on this point.

7. You may, of course, rest assured that no information will be conveyed to the Indian High Commissioner and no co-ordination of representations attempted, unless the matter is specifically mentioned in your telegrams. I do, however, feel that the subject is one which might be given consideration.

1 Document 270 2 Document 281.

3 This note by Jamieson to Forde dated 8 March reported, inter alia, the opinion of the Canadian government that sanction against the Netherlands were impossible and that, consequently, the Security Council had no alternative but to keep the door open for further negotiation'.

4 Prince K.S Duleep Singhji.

[AA : A1838, 403/3/1/1, xxi]