412 Critchley to Burton

Letter BATAVIA, 20 May 1949


Discussions between the representatives of the parties on Sub- Committee I have continued. As yet there has been no major hitch but progress has not been fast.

2. The following is a summary of the informal discussions since the last official report (attachment I [1]):-

(a) Republican police force: The Netherlands have objections to supplying arms, but it appears that there will be a satisfactory agreement for providing uniforms, 2,400 of which will be available shortly.

(b) Trucks and jeeps: Still under discussion.

(c) Public services: The Netherlands authorities in Jogja are preparing lists of all public servants who wish to be evacuated, and have been instructed to inform the Sultan immediately of any key personnel whose names are placed on the lists, so that he can make arrangements for their replacement.

(d) Transport, railway, telephone, telegraph, etc. Discussions appear to be proceeding satisfactorily on technical details.

(e) Trade: Van Hoogstraten, head of the Economic Affairs Department is considering Republican lists of future monthly requirements.

(f) Currency: The Republican delegation feels that the problem is still full of head-aches. The Netherlands claim they are still ascertaining the facts of the situation, and s'Jacob says that they will have no objection in principle to meeting a Republican request for Netherlands-Indies currency to be used in the first few weeks following the restoration until it is possible to get new Republican currency printed.

3. The proposed evacuations from Jogja appear to be the main cause of delay at present. The Sultan has issued a statement guaranteeing the 'personal and material safety' of all who remain in the Residency, irrespective of nationality or employment. The Netherlands delegation has also issued reassuring, if somewhat circuitous, statements. s'Jacob assures me an informal start has been made on evacuations and that, providing a suspension of arms can be agreed upon, the Netherlands will start evacuations at full blast on Wednesday next, 25th May. Attachment II [2] is a translation of Dutch notes on the evacuation from Jogja, prepared for the High Representative of the Crown.

4. Unfortunately, delays provide further opportunity for mischievous rumour-mongering, and the present uncertainty in Jogjakarta makes fertile soil for rumours. This is borne out by the talks Cutts had with some of the more important Republicans while he was in Jogjakarta last week. Attachments III [3] and IV [4] are notes on these talks.

5. A good example of a rumour with mischievous intent was an article published in 'Het Dagblad' last Saturday afternoon to the effect that tens of thousands, including Mrs. Sukarno and Mrs.

Hatta were waiting to leave Jogjakarta. Of course neither Mrs.

Sukarno nor Mrs. Hatta had ever made applications to leave and no one with any appreciation of the situation here could believe they intended to do so.

6. Another misfortune is the extent to which the Netherlands military authorities can interfere with the smooth working out of the preliminary accord. [5] Talks between the Sultan and Netherlands military authorities on a suspension of arms are proceeding, with the Commission's Military Executive Board and particularly Brigadier Prior, playing an advisory role. Prior is convinced that there are no technical difficulties in reaching an agreement on the subject or in making arrangements for the evacuation of Netherlands forces. He feels that the effectiveness of the arrangements will depend on the good-will shown by both parties, and is convinced that the Sultan of Jogjakarta for his part will display all the good-will that is necessary. On the other hand the Netherlands commander, Colonel van Langen, is creating trouble. Having presented a plan which is clearly unsatisfactory, Van Langen so far, refuses to modify it on the ground that his orders make him solely responsible for the evacuation of Dutch troops. To Prior's argument that the plan would create security problems for the Republicans after the Dutch withdrawal, he brusquely answered he was not interested in what happened after his troops left the Residency. We have been endeavouring to short-circuit the Dutch military authorities by bringing in a civilian member of the Netherlands and in particular s'Jacob. Spoor has also visited Jogjakarta in the last few days and Van Royen appears to hope that he will have a favourable influence on the military people there. Prior will return to Batavia tomorrow with the other senior military advisers, to report on the discussions of the last few days.

PEACE AND ORDER 7. Sub-committee 2 has made no progress, principally because the Netherlands representatives refuse to agree to issue either a cease-fire or a stand-fast order. Republicans see in the Netherlands proposals to issue a vague order to cease military activities a continuation of the policy of mopping-up which has followed the so-called cease-hostilities orders of 31 December 1948 and 5 January 1949. [6]

8. Cochran has tried his hand at a draft order which is unsatisfactory to the Dutch because it calls for a stand-fast, and unsatisfactory to the Republicans because it does not order a cease-fire. I believe the deadlock will only be broken at the highest level. Certainly we will have to get away from the present Netherlands military advisers, while Gieben, their civilian representative on the Sub-Committee, is regarded by the Republicans as an old colonial type.

9. As I see it, there are three important aspects of the arrangements required to put an end to military operations and guerilla fighting in Indonesia:

(a) both sides should issue a cease-fire and stand-fast order.

(b) areas of responsibility should be allocated and special security arrangements instituted so that police action can be taken against groups who refuse to obey the orders.

(c) provision for economic and military cooperation (but not a joint police force) consistent with point 7 [7] of the 'RR agreement'.

I have suggested to Leimena that he hold over the cease-fire deadlock for the time being, on the ground that he has no military advisers, and talk about the other stages and particularly about areas of responsibility. Discussion of these topics will clarify Dutch intentions towards the T.N.I. There are good reasons to suspect that the Netherlands military authorities believe that the TNI should either be disbanded or should co-operate with and under the directions of the Netherlands army command. This is entirely unacceptable to the Republicans.

10. Difficulties to obtaining a cease-hostilities agreement have already been fore-shadowed by the reactions of West Java's territorial commander, Major-General Engels, to the views of the Pasundan Wali Negara, Wiranatakoesoema. The Pasundan Wali Negara was reported to have said that he favoured the issuance of a 'cease-fire and stand-fast order' in pursuance of the RR statements and that he also agreed that the TNI control over certain parts of West Java should be recognized. Engels retorted that the Wali Negara had not received any correct information and denied that the TNI had gained control of any region in West Java.

He claimed the TNI units were having great trouble in defending themselves against terror groups such as the Darul Islam, and that in any event, they could not be considered as fully trained troops.

EMERGENCY GOVERNMENT 11. There is no authentic report yet as to the final attitude of the Emergency Republican Government to the 'RR agreement'. The Emergency Government has, however, definitely agreed that the Sultan of Jogjakarta should take over the Residency and maintain law and order on behalf of the Government.

ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE AT THE HAGUE 12. With the restoration of the Republican Government delayed longer than we had hoped, it is impossible at present to predict the timing of the Conference at The Hague. There is even some fear that it may be delayed until the end of July or early August. This would be a serious prospect. The small store of good-will which has been built up at such pains recently, could easily be dissipated by the many forces working against a final settlement.

The most hopeful aspect is that Van Royen, the Republican delegation and the Commission are all agreed that time is against all parties and that every effort must be made to bring about an overall settlement as quickly as possible. The Republican delegation is especially mindful of the need to have the Round Table Conference before the Assembly meets in September, although it is also aware of the need for ensuring a proper restoration of the Government and essential safeguards for participation in the Round Table Conference.

13. In general the new members of the Netherlands delegation, Van Royen, Blom and s'Jacob, appear to have a liberal approach, and are regarded favourably by the Republican delegation. Talks are continuing somewhat spasmodically about the Round Table Conference, and the Republicans have prepared a draft, (attachment V [8]) which Supomo has talked over with Blom. Supomo believes the Dutch have no major objections in principle to the draft which they are considering within the delegation, but that they will make certain suggested amendments such as a proposal that minorities should be heard at the Conference.

OPPOSITION FROM SUMATRAN FEDERALISTS 14. Six delegations from Sumatran puppet states have expressed strong objections to points 4, 5 and 7 of the RR agreement (Attachment VI [9]). The Netherlands delegation has answered the charge that the Sumatran delegations were not consulted beforehand, by pointing out that Van Royen had consulted the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the BFO, who supported the agreement on its behalf. Anak Agung Gde Agung assures me that the Sumatran representatives raised no dissentient voice when the BFO decided to make an official announcement expressing the great satisfaction with which it had taken cognisance of the RR statements. The East Indonesian Prime Minister also says it is typical of the Sumatran federalist leaders that they waited until they returned to Sumatra before raising their objection but perhaps that is best explained by the influence exerted by the Netherlands advisers in the puppet states. In any event, the split in the BFO, which I have talked of in my earlier letters seems more likely than ever, although Van Royen and others may be expected to give the Federalists a pep talk when they meet in Batavia this weekend.

15. The Sumatra delegations present in Batavia on 13 May have decided to hold a second Sumatra Conference on 27 May. The agenda is significant:

1. Discussions of the RR statements.

2. Sumatra's position in the BFO.

3. Sumatra's position in the forthcoming inter-Indonesian discussion and in the projected RTC at The Hague.

4. Internal organisation and directive regarding Sumatra's future political development.

I understand that Van Royen will use his influence to try to cancel this Conference and is counting on the support of Van der Plas.

RECOGNITION OF TAPANULI REPRESENTATION 16. Attachment VII [10] is a typical double-talk statement confirming my fears regarding Dutch implementation of article 4 of the Van Royen statement. Koets, in a press interview on the recognition, did not explain why the Netherlands had taken action contrary to the spirit of its recent undertaking but concentrated on explaining why the Netherlands had only recognized the 'provisional representation' and not an independent daerah.

Following the recognition of the Tapanuli representation, Roem has received an angry letter from Hatta, and the Republican delegation is filing a protest this evening. Van Royen has told Roem that the Tapanuli question has been a particularly difficult one since the High Representative of the Crown had made promises prior to 7 May.

He assured Roem there would be no further cases of this kind.

NEW HIGH REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CROWN 17. As you know, Lovink has been appointed High Representative of the Crown in place of Beel. According to press comments, attachments VIII [11] and IX [12], Lovink is not expected to make Van Royen's task any easier. This is regrettable because Van Royen already has enough problems with the old Palace Guard, who think in terms of a transfer of sovereignty in about 5 to 10 years and cannot understand the changes which have occurred in Indonesia's political atmosphere since 1939.

1 The text of the Progress Report of Sub-Committee 1 of the Discussions under the Auspices of the Commission between the Delegations of the Netherlands and the Republic of Indonesia is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Fourth Year, Special Supplement No.5, pp.41-58.

2 The 'Notes for His Excellency, the High Representative of the Crown, concerning the evacuation from Jogja' were dated 18 May.

3 Attachment III was T.W. Cutts's 'Notes on talk with members of Working Committee [of KNIP] at Jogjakarta on Saturday, May 14th.' 4 Attachment IV was T.W. Cutts's 'Notes on interview with with Dr.

Sumanang, editor of "national" and "non-party" member of KNIP, at Jogja, on Friday, May 13th'.

5 See Documents 376 and 385.

6 See Document 15 and 30.

7 See Document 376.

8 Attachment V was a Draft Paper dated 18 May By the Republican Delegation on the 'Round Table Conference.' 9 Attachment VI was a copy of a cable from six Delegations of Sumatran States to Van Maarseveen protesting against paragraphs 4, 5 and 7 of the Roem - Van Roijen Agreement (see Document 376).

10 Attachment VII was an extract from Aneta dated 15 May concerning the wish of the Panitia Status Tapanuli to be recognised as the provisional representatives of the population of the part of Tapanuli situated on the mainland of the island of Sumatra.

11 Attachment VIII was an extract from Nieuwsgier dated 20 May entitled 'Benefit of Doubt'pointing to Lovink's absence of strong party connection in the Netherlands.

12 Attachment IX was an article from Keng Po dated 19 May entitled 'About Dr. Beel's Successor' expressing the opinion that Lovink was not popularin Republican or BFO circles and That his appointment would not facilitate progress towards an independent United States of Indonesia and a Netherlands-Indoesian Union.

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