295 Department of External Affairs to Hood and Critchley

Cablegrams 142, 44 CANBERRA, 14 March 1949

IMMEDIATE CONFIDENTIAL

INDONESIA

Your UN.185. [1]

While Chinese suggestion may at first sight appear worth adopting we do not feel that it should be gone into until we see how matters develop. You will note (see our telegram 141 [2]) that Critchley does not like the idea. We do not know what 'awkward questions' he has in mind regarding Republican participation, but we fear that a preliminary conference as suggested by China might get nowhere while at the same time protracting delay.

Having regard to the way events seem to be developing, there is no reason why the Council should be casting around for compromise at this stage. You will see from Critchley's telegram that B.F.O. is still standing firm on its resolution [3] of 3rd March. So long as it continues to do so it is hard to see how the Dutch can make any move until they comply with the Council's resolution. In inviting the Republican leaders to their proposed conference at The Hague the Dutch have after all virtually recognised that the Republic still exists and that its former government cannot be ignored in any plan for establishment of United States of Indonesia. The objective of the Council, at least for the time being, should be to insist on compliance with its resolution [4] and persuade the Dutch to recognise that they cannot move in any direction until they have accorded the Republic the formal recognition and status which they have already been forced to go some way towards conceding in fact.

1 Document 293.

2 Dispatched on 14 March, it conveyed the text of Document 294.

3 See Document 279.

4 Document 168.

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