296 High Commission in London to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 1049 LONDON, 14 March 1949, 8.15 p.m.



Noel-Baker and McNeil this afternoon outlined to all High Commissioners the attitude of the United Kingdom to MacNaughton's suggestion [1] that 'without prejudice to Security Council's Resolution [2] on 28th January' a meeting should be arranged under the United Nations Commission auspices at Batavia between the Republican Leaders and Netherlands Representatives to arrange for the return of Republican leaders to Djokjakarta and their proceeding to The Hague for a round table conference.

2. Australia, India, Pakistan and Ceylon were very critical of various aspects of this proposal, asking how it could possibly be 'without prejudice' to the 28th January Resolution. Beasley emphasised the importance of the matter to the United Nations' authority. There was no reason at all why political prisoners should not have been unconditionally released and other parts of the resolution implemented already.

3. It is clear that though McNeil and Noel-Baker merely said that this Canadian suggestion might make it possible for the Security Council Resolution to be carried out and they knew of no other way in which it might be carried out, that the United Kingdom, unless this afternoon's meeting has some effect, will support the Canadian proposal. McNeil and Baker were both at pains to emphasise that they thought no round table conference should be contemplated unless the Republicans attended it freely and after their return to Djokjakarta and with full powers from their Government. It also seems clear from an answer to one of Beasley's questions that Bevin has already told Stikker, who is in London, that he favours the proposal.

4. The Minister [3] regards the proposal as quite unsatisfactory, emphasising that we should use our influence against anything short of effective implementation of the 28th January Resolution specially in matters which are essential prerequisites of negotiations.

1 See Document 293.

2 Document 168.

3 H.V. Evatt.

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