410 Quinn to Burton

Memorandum Hag 145/49 BATAVIA, 19 May 1949


Attached hereto is a translation of the Netherlands Government statement [1] on the resignation of Dr Beel as High Representative of the Crown in Indonesia.

2. Liberal opinion in the Netherlands has deplored the timing of Dr Beel's action. When the first confirmation of his resignation was received, the Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant described his action as something of a demonstration. 'If Dr Beel attaches so much political importance to his own position, and sees so many political objections to the latest agreement, did he not also see the political consequences of a resignation now? The fruits of international goodwill are reason for the majority of critics and the Government itself to swallow the rest of the agreement. We have secured the first gains in the form of a changed attitude on the part of India and Australia in the General Assembly. Does not Dr Beel threaten, with his resignation, to shake part of the fruits from the tree of agreement? This display of Dutch internal disunity will not increase our political prestige abroad, especially in connection with Indonesia.' 3. Similar sentiments were expressed by the Catholic paper De Tijd, which recalled the less brilliant aspects of Dr Beel's career. 'The High Commissioner treated the United Nations Good Offices Commission and its military observers so badly that these gentlemen were put in a most unfavourable frame of mind with regard to Dutch intentions. The Beel plan [2] designed to outmanoeuvre the Security Council, had also failed.' De Tijd concluded its comment with the suggestion that 'it will probably be a good thing, after the fortunate nomination of Dr van Royen as leader of the Dutch delegation, to appoint new men who are not burdened with the errors of a political past which deserves little praise'.

4. The Catholic conservative Maasbode expressed the hope that Dr Beel would be proved wrong 'for the road which the Government, at the instigation of Dr van Royen, has entered upon cannot be retraced'.

1 The statement explained that Beel had resigned as High Representative of the Crown because he had objected to 'the form and extent of the restoration of the Republic and the obligation to refrain for the time being from further political reform on Java and Sumatra'.

2 See Document 249.

[AA : A1838, ts45/1/4/5, i]