311 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram 158 CANBERRA, 23 March 1949, 5.20 p.m.


Your 208. [1] Indonesia.

Only information we have to support Palar's charges comes from an article written from Djokjakarta on 18th February by Harold Isaacs of 'Newsweek'. This includes the following:

'The Dutch have made very little headway in restoring civil administration since they took over. Many Republican officials have become hawkers on the streets rather than work for the Dutch.

In one official's family, the wife is baking cake for sale to eke out a living. The Dutch were out to demolish the Republican Government, and after arresting and exiling the leaders they emptied the Republican ministries of desks, typewriters and archives. Most of this material was shipped out of Djokjakarta on north-bound convoys.'

2. According to radio deputy members of United Nations Commission visited [2] Djokjakarta on 21st March to investigate conditions there, Commission will therefore doubtless have first hand information.

3. We have not yet heard anything from Critchley and are asking him to send you urgent comment on Palar's statement, irrespective of whether or not Commission decide to send report on its own initiative.

1 Document 310.

2 See Document 307.

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