375 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K305 BATAVIA, 4 May 1949, 2.15 p.m.


I have talked to Cochran about his recent unilateral activities.

[1] He explains that he originally helped the parties to get together at their request, and did not intend to break into their informal talks. Towards the end of last week, however, they came to him for help and discussed with him their points of difficulty.

At these meetings he made suggestions based upon the various views expressed, but he does not consider that he has advanced what could be called an American draft.

2. Cochran also says that:-

(a) He told Roem that he would urge the Netherlands acceptance of the Republican demand for the restoration to the whole of the Residency of Djokjakarta, although he could not agree that this was required by the 23rd March directive. [2]

(b) In presenting the Republican drafts to Van Royen, he stressed that the Republican Delegation has been pushed as far as it could go and urged Netherlands acceptance.

(c) When he received the Netherlands response, (see my telegram K.304 [3]), he told Van Royen the revisions would be unacceptable to the Republican Delegation and subsequent exchanges generated some heat.

3. Cochran is clearly shaken by the latest Netherlands response and promises to bring further pressure on Van Royen.

1 Critchley's dissatisfaction with Cochran's handling of the Dutch-Republican negotiations was the cause of some tension between the two members of the Commission. Van Roijen reported to Van Maarseveen on 19 April Cochran's observation that Critchley was 'more Republican than the Republicans' and Stikker commented to Michiels van Verduynen on 23 April that, since Critchley's conversation with Chifley and Burton in Singapore, Critchley was more 'intractable' than ever, with the result that Cochran was beginning to have 'quite enough' of him. Burton supported Critchley's position in London telling Dening that, if the Batavia discussion did not produce results within a fixed time, Australia would raise a 'hullabaloo' in the UN General Assembly. See Rijks Geschiedkundige Publicatien, Officiele Bescheiden Betreffende de Nederlands-Indonesische Betrekkingen 1945-1950, vol. 18 The Hague 1993, pp.410, 448 and 458.

2 See Document 312.

3 Document 374.

[AA : A1838, 403/2/3/2, iv]