294 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K286 BATAVIA, 12 March 1949, 5.30 p.m.

IMMEDIATE CONFIDENTIAL

Republican sources from Djokjakarta and Solo report that the Netherlands Army has instituted a terrorist campaign worse than anything experienced under the Japanese. According to Sjahrir the Dutch are endeavouring to break by physical means the spirit of the people. If correct this is consistent with the policy admittedly followed in East Indonesia. So far their reports have not been confirmed by Military observers.

2. In place of a B.F.O. meeting leading Federalists were called to the Palace yesterday 11th March, addressed by Beel, and given the text of Van Royen's statement [1] in Security Council. B.F.O. met this morning when it was unanimously agreed that the resolution [2] of 3rd March should be accepted as a B.F.O. resolution.

Unfortunately no publicity will be given to this decision. B.F.O.

will meet again on Monday and then on Thursday but there will be no visit to Bangka until after the Security Council debate ends.

3. Early reports from Lake Success suggest that the Commission might be asked to negotiate an agreement between the Netherlands and the Republic on the question of the restoration of the Republican Government at Djokjakarta. This would be unsatisfactory. There might be a delay and awkward questions regarding Republican participation. In any event policy has already been decided by the Security Council and should not be negotiated at this stage. Particularly in the light of B.F.O. resolution it would help if the Council were to come down strongly and instruct the Government of the Netherlands and the Republic and the Commission to co-operate in the implementation of the resolution including the early re- establishment of the Republican Government at Djokjakarta.

4. East Java, on 11th March passed a resolution urging a speedy release of political prisoners and speedy trial of other prisoners in the state. The state President [3] with a delegation of 10 men has been authorised to 'realise solution of Indonesian question following the lines of the Security Council resolution [4] or any other line agreed upon by the Dutch and the Republican Governments and other Federal States of Indonesia'.

1 See Document 290.

2 See document 279.

3 Dr M. Murdjani.

4 Document 168.

[AA : A1838, 854/10/4/3, iv]