339 Attlee to Chifley

Cablegram H174 LONDON, 5 April 1949, 9.58 p.m.


Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs [1] has had an opportunity of discussing Indonesia with the United States Secretary of State [2] in Washington.

2. The United States attitude is broadly similar to our own;

whilst there are still many difficulties to be overcome the preliminary meeting at Batavia under the auspices of the United Nations Commission does afford an opportunity not to be missed for getting the parties together and for clearing away some of the obstacles to settlement.

3. The Republicans have now accepted [3] the invitation of the United Nations Commission on Indonesia to participate in discussions at Batavia on the understanding that the restoration of the Republican Government at Djokjakarta free to take decisions uncoerced, is a prerequisite to any fruitful negotiations. The Dutch as you know accepted the invitation on March 28th. [4]

4. I am therefore instructing the United Kingdom Representatives [5] at The Hague, Batavia and New York (in the event of Indonesia being included in the Assembly Agenda) to direct their efforts to ensuring that discussions between the Dutch and Indonesia open in Batavia as soon as possible and to inducing the parties to seize the opportunity now offered to compose their differences with a view to the early transfer of sovereignty.

5. I have thought it well to inform you of the action we are taking in case you feel disposed to take similar action.

1 Ernest Bevin.

2 Dean Acheson.

3 See Document 334.

4 See Document 333.

5 Sir Philip Nichols, F.M. Shepherd and Sir Alexander Cadogan.

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