421 Pritchett to Leimena

Letter BATAVIA, 26 May 1949


As I promised this morning, I am putting in writing our understanding about the Relief Supplies (excluding the textiles).

The present position is that the Netherlands authorities refuse to permit my handing over the stores to the Republic in toto, as I have urged should be done without further delay, but wish the allocation to the Republic to be sub-divided as between those areas in which the Republic's administration will be recognised and those areas which are now under Dutch administration, but were Republican before the last military action. They argue that they agreed to the original division of the supplies as between the Republican and non-Republican areas, in consideration of the needs of the population in the then-Republican territories, but now that the Republican territories are smaller, if the supplies were all handed over to the Republic, there would be no guarantee that the population in the areas no longer held by the Republic would receive any supplies; therefore, they argue some portion of the supplies must be subtracted from the total originally allocated to the Republic, and reserved for the population in places now under their administration (e.g. Solo).

With a view to securing a finalisation of this matter, you agreed to my suggestion that the goods be formally received by the Republic, for the purpose of clearing them through the local Customs, and then be transferred to the Indonesian Red Cross Store Rooms in Jacarta by arrangement with Dr. Bahder-Djohan. Then, when the present discussions regarding the jurisdiction of the Republic have been finalised, an allocation be worked out as between those former Republican territories in which the Republic's administration is again recognised and those in which the Dutch are to retain control. The Republic will then distribute those supplies reserved for it and hand the remainder over to the Indonesian Red Cross for distribution in the areas outside Republican control.

Since the supplies (other than textiles) are hospital stores, I suggest that the allocation be based upon hospital figures in the two territories (e.g. number of beds, number of patients treated per day or per week, etc.). However, I should be glad to receive any alternative suggestion you might find preferable.

I expect to see Jhr. de Ranitz, of the Far Eastern Office, on Monday, when I shall put these proposals to him.

[AA : A4357/2, 352/2, i]