305 Critchley to McIntyre

Letter BATAVIA, 22 March 1949

For the past week we have been waiting on the Security Council.

The delay, combined with the progress reports already received, indicates more than a little confusion in Lake Success. However if, as I hope, the delay means a strengthening of the Council's attitude, it is well worthwhile. Much depends on the Security Council maintaining a firm line. I regret, however, the tendency of the Americans to tie in The Hague Round Table Conference with any directive on the implementation of the Resolution. [1]

Cutts visited Jogjakarta yesterday with the Deputies of the other delegations. The purpose of the visit was to enquire into allegations of recent arrests of political prisoners and into the general political situation there. The party interviewed the Dutch Commander, the three members of the Republican Government remaining in Jogjakarta (Djoenda, Laoh and the Sultan of Jogjakarta) and other Republican officials including one in prison. A full account of the visit will be forwarded in the next bag but in the meantime some of Cutts's impressions were:-

(a) The Republicans are confident that the re-establishment of their government at Jogjakarta will present no serious practical political difficulties provided assistance is given in the supply of material and equipment. They claim that the Republican civil administration is intact either underground or outside the town and that there would be no personnel difficulties. The Sultan has prepared a plan for resumption of authority and would be prepared to assume responsibility for law and order in the town at not more than 3 days' notice. He would use the Republican police force, which is intact outside the town with which he is in constant touch.

(b) Though this confidence seems justified at the moment, a very critical time element is involved as economic pressure will very shortly force most Republican civil servants either to accept work with the Dutch or to leave Jogjakarta. Djoenda estimates that few junior officials will be able to hold out beyond the end of this month while many of the senior ones will feel the pinch severely by the end of April.

(c) Jogjakarta is a town of terror. Every night there is heavy firing, and looting and brigandage continue on a considerable scale. The average middle-class Indonesian lives in terror and many would leave the town if given the chance. Indeed there is already a small but steady stream of population away from Jogjakarta. The Dutch troops, though heavily reinforced recently, seem powerless to remedy the situation.

(d) The Dutch military authorities are bitterly opposed to re- establishment of the Republican Government in Jogjakarta, and they will fight it at every turn of the road.

Attachment 1 [2] is a translation of an article on the Sultan of Jogja from the Batavian weekly, Siasit, a paper which is under the influence of Sjahrir. I have pointed out earlier the importance of the Sultan in any settlement on Jogja and indeed the prerequisite of his co-operation if law and order are to be restored. The suggestion in this article that the Dutch have been considering steps to undermine his authority is paralleled by reports from Netherlands sources that there are documents incriminating him in guerilla activities.

On the subject of guerilla activities, the special correspondent in the interior of the Chinese Batavia daily, Sin Po, reports-

'The Republican guerilla forces in Middle and East Java are still very formidable. Prior to the outbreak of the 2nd Police Action, they had ample time to plan their defences and transport their necessary equipments to the rugged mountain terrains. Their experience in warfare was especially enriched by the communist revolt last year. Their forces are now divided into three main military centres, each under the command of a Military Governor.

Jogjakarta, Kedoe and Banjoemas under Bambang Soegeng; Semarang, Pati, Madioen and Solo under Gatot Soebroto; and Kediri, Malang and Sourabaya under Soengkono.'

On the same subject I enclose, Attachment 2 [3], a personal letter I received yesterday from Ali Budiardjo. This letter is self- explanatory and as interesting a document as I have seen for many a day. Its importance lies in knowing the author. Budiardjo has considerable political status, is an intensely sincere nationalist and in my estimation one of the most important political figures although not necessarily one of the most popular in the Republican movement.

Budiardjo is not [4] with the Central Commissariat of the Emergency Government in Java which has occupied an area south east of Jogjakarta. When the Dutch forces occupied Jogjakarta most of the Republican civil and military personnel left the city in a hurry carrying as much equipment as they could with them. In the hasty evacuation military and civilian personnel lost touch with one another. When the panic subsided the two groups of personnel came together and established an emergency organization in the district of Gundeng Kidul.

In Wonosari in this district the guerilla command was established not only for the Jogjakarta area but also for the whole island of Java. General Sudirman, who withdrew to the South also arrived at Wonosari with the other leaders.

The Republican Minister of the Interior and Chairman of the Masjumi party Dr. Sukiman and the Minister for Justice, Dr.

Susanto, who were in Solo during the attack on Jogjakarta and withdrew to Madiun in East Java also subsequently succeeded in reaching Wononsari, where they remained to take charge of the civilian administration. After their arrival the Central Commissariat of the Emergency Government in Java was created as a branch of the Sumatra Emergency Government. At the head of the Commissariat was General Sudirman. Attachment 3 [5] is a translation of a message from General Sudirman to the people.

The new Commissariat was able to contact the remaining unoccupied Republican areas by radio.

Dutch forces, having discovered Wonosari was the centre of Republican activities captured the emergency capital after a fierce attack on March 10.

According to a report from Col. Simatupang, who was in the area at the time, 3 bombers and 6 fighters strafed and bombed the town from 0600 hours to 1700 hours. Eighteen transport planes of paratroopers (estimated 500 troops) were joined by infantry forces from Jogjakarta about 20 miles away.

The Republicans, however, had wind of the attack and had carefully and systematically evacuated the town the day before. According to the Republican reports no officials or soldiers were captured but 60 of the local villagers were killed and 30 injured in the Dutch attack. According to Simatupang's report there is terror throughout the region.

On the basis of a garbled report in one of the Chinese papers, Dr.

Roem of Bangka has telegraphed a request to the Commission 'to investigate the truth of report and if affirmed to forward protest to the Security Council against renewed Dutch aggression, showing utter contempt of Security Council's resolution'. [6] I shall endeavour to have a Military Observers' team investigate within the next few days.

It is not yet known where the next emergency military government is going to be set up. According to the Chinese paper 'Sin Po' there are many places in the Gunung Kidur area, where Pondjong, Semen and other towns are located near the south coast and not easily accessible to Dutch patrols; any of these towns may be made a capital city.

According to the paper the Japanese had set up fortifications in these towns and organized and trained a Seneindra (a youth organization) and Keibodan (a police organization). The fighting spirit of these youth groups was reported to be highly regarded by the Japanese.

In my letter [7] of 1-2-49 I outlined in detail the situation in Pasundan and reported the movements of Siliwangi troops into the area. In recent weeks there have been reports from Dutch sources of negotiations between the Pasundan authorities and the leaders of some of the Siliwangi. Captain Patrick, one of the ablest of our military observers has made a quick survey of the situation.

His report dated 13th March and summarised below is based on reliable sources including an interview with the Battalion commander of the Siliwangi battalion at present located in South Bandoeng in the hills- (a) The South Bandoeng Battalion commander is Captain Achmad Wiranatukusumah, a relative of Wiranatukusumah, Wali Negara of Pasundan, (b) The battalion strength is approx. 1200, (c) Troops are all in good health and well armed, (d) Negotiations of the Siliwangi are conducted with the Pasundan Government and not with the Dutch army, (e) The whole of the Siliwangi Division is in West Java, is in good health, of high morale and well armed, (f) The above battalion moved from Solo. It encountered small groups of Darul Islam troops and small patrols of Dutch troops, but suffered only a few casualties, (g) It is the only battalion so far for which arrangements are being considered with the Pasundan Government. The negotiations are being conducted through the High Command of the TNI, (h) This battalion Commander stated that he had a definite role to play in the future and that the whole Division would play a definite and organized part in developments which may take place in West Java in the near future, (i) Liaison is maintained between Bandoeng and the Siliwangi Division by Moeharam Wiranatukusumah, who is a brother of the Batallion commander.

It is clear from this report that while the Netherlands are referring to negotiations between the Siliwangi and the Pasundan Government as an arrangement which will undermine guerilla resistance, the TNI command and the Siliwangi Division have very different objectives. The negotiations are probably being conducted by the Siliwangi as a means of (a) obtaining a breathing space, (b) buttressing the pro-Republican sympathies of the Pasundan Government, (c) ensuring that a pro-Dutch army will not be established in Pasundan, and (d) preparing the way for the Siliwangi troops to become Pasundan's contribution to a federal army if a settlement of the Indonesian troop is achieved.

Already many of the Pasundan state police have been recruited from the Siliwangi boys and are on the closest terms with their old comrades.

For the time being the situation in West Java and around Bandoeng is acute. In my opinion Bandoeng is the next most important centre to Djokja from the point of view of Republican activities. As well as ensuring that an Australian observer is appointed as soon as possible to the military team operating from Bandoeng, I shall take advantage of the first free weekend to make a visit to the city myself.

I have received further informal advice of the B.F.O. activities over the past weeks. At the meeting of the B.F.O. with the High Representative of the Crown at the Palace on March 11 (see my K.286 [8]) Dr. Beel informed the B.F.O. representatives that he knew their views were different from his own. He asked them to refrain from giving effect to their opinions until after the current Security Council discussions in Indonesia when he hoped to be able to make a new proposal and to reconcile their opinions with his own. At the morning meeting of 12 March some opposition was encountered from Sultan Hamid of West Borneo, Malik of South Sumatra and Mansoer of East Sumatra. The latter was particularly difficult and is reported to have threatened his resignation from the conference. However, as reported to you by telegram the resolution of 3 March was retained but at the price of no publicity and no formal reference of the resolution to the High Representative of the Crown.

Since then Mansoer has been busy calling an all-Sumatran conference. Invitations have been sent to all areas of Sumatra including the Republican states of Atjeh and Nias. While the Republican states will refuse to co-operate it is more than an idle guess to suggest that the conference may aim at forming a Dutch-sponsored Sumatran bloc. Primarily this bloc would aim at weakening the present predominance of the left wing of the B.F.O.

under East Indonesia and Pasundan. Indeed, if achieved it could lead to the disintegration of the B.F.O.-a disintegration which already seems inevitable in view of the different personalities and interests represented. In the long run I believe that Mansoer and the Dutch have in mind the possibility of detaching large segments of Sumatra from the U.S.I. under the Linggadjati provision [9] that the territories will have the opportunity to enter into special relationships with the Netherlands. But if so I am sure that Mansoer and the Dutch underestimate the political difficulties.

At a meeting of the B.F.O. on March 14 the right wing or Mansoer section also raised the question of new voting members. East Indonesia saw in these proposals a move to attack the voting strength of the left wing bloc. East Java was admitted as a full member to the B.F.O. but the applications of other areas were postponed.

As part of the attempt to strengthen Dutch influence in the B.F.O.

a People's Representation in the Batavian municipality has been set up. An interesting comment is set out in Attachment 4. [10]

A progress report, (attachment 5 [11]), has been received on the wounding of the Commission's military observers in Sumatra on the road between Medan and Brastagi. It reveals that the first Netherlands reports that one of their own officers was killed and the jeep burned were not correct. The incident will service Dutch propaganda but it is worth bearing in mind that United Nations jeeps are difficult to distinguish from the jeeps of the Dutch military police which are also painted white. I have in the past suggested to our Senior Military Observer that he recommend a change in markings and I shall endeavour to ensure that this is done without further delay.

The latest of the periodical reports of the military observers has just come to hand and you will receive copies in the routine distribution of Commission papers. You will note that it suffers from the usual defect of these reports, lack of adequate sources and lack of opportunity to observe fully.

My own impressions based on all sorts of rumours, discussions, etc. are that up to this stage at least the Dutch have not started to win the war. The real danger, however, is that with mounting casualties Dutch troops will grow more embittered and that terror campaigns will grow until this country is morally and materially exhausted. I can only repeat again that the Security Council must be firm and must give the Commission an opportunity to insist on an early comprehensive settlement. Time is vital. This is clear from Cutts's report on Djokja, but all Republican sources reflect a steady loss of confidence in the Security Council and the possibilities of negotiations with the Dutch.

1 Document 168.

2 The article dated 13 March stated that the Sultan of Djokjakarta's refusal to cooperate with the Dutch after the Second Police action had 'no other result than increasing the respect of the people towards him and enhancing his prestige'.

3 This personal letter from Ali Budiardjo to Critchley dated 5 March described condition in Dutch-occupied territory and expressed the hope that the United Nations would resolve the conflict in Indonesia.

4 The word 'not' should presumably read 'now' 5 In this message of 15 March, General Sudirman urged the Indonesian people to continue resisting the Dutch.

6 Document 168.

7 Document 175.

8 Document 294.

9 Article 3 of the Linggadjati Agreement stated that, if the population of any territory of the Netherlands Indies should notify by means of a democratic procedure that it was unwilling to join the United States of Indonesia, 'a special relationship to the States and to the Kingdom of the Netherlands can be established for such a territory'.

10 This article by Mansur Wiriadinata dated 12 March was from the weekly newspaper Mimbar Indonesia entitled -People's Representation in the Jacarta Municipality'. It referred to a Dutch proposal set up for the Jakarta municipality a Dutch- appointed 'Representative College'-comprising nine Indonesians, three Dutch people, two Chinese and one Arab-and an 'Executive College' consisting of the Mayor as chairman and four other members.

11 This 'Report of Maj. R. Montana concerning attack on U.N. jeep with the result that two U.N. observers were wounded' dated 20 March revealed that two UN observers but not a Dutch officer were wounded in an incident on the road between Medan and Brastagi.

[AA : A4968/2, 25/9/3, ii]