422 Critchley to Burton

Letter BATAVIA, 27 May 1949

This letter reports the continuation of the slow progress recorded in my last letters. [1] Main attention has focussed on the work of sub-committee I, on the restoration of the Republican Government at Jogjakarta. Recent developments, including agreement by the sub-committee on a second progress report, are set out by Cutts in attachment I.

Van Royen has now made it clear that the Dutch will not evacuate Netherlands troops from Jogjakarta until there is an understanding between the delegations on the terms and conditions for an overall cessation of hostilities in Indonesia. The work of sub-committee II, 'on peace and order', has accordingly been pushed more into the limelight. Here again some progress has been achieved but only, as I suggested in my last letter, by lifting the talks out of the hands of Gieben, the Netherlands representative on sub- committee II. Van Royen and Roem are now being brought into the informal talks.

It is agreed that implementation of the cease-hostilities order will require agreement on three basic documents.

(a) the cessation of hostilities order.

(b) a general proclamation supporting the order.

(c) detailed regulations for ensuring a cessation of hostilities and cooperation to preserve peace and order.

So far drafting has only been attempted on (a) and (b). The latest drafts prepared by Cochran are set out in attachments II [2] and III. [3] These, based largely on the earlier Netherlands draft, are not satisfactory. In particular, the cease-hostilities order of the Netherlands would be no more effective than the spurious orders [4] of General Spoor of 31 December and 5 January. However, the drafting is extremely tentative and it is realized that the final drafts must await understandings as to the detailed regulations so that the three basic documents can be considered as an integrated whole. In any event, in private discussions with Cochran, I have convinced him that considerable revision is necessary in the drafting of (a) and (b), and have made detailed suggestions.

A major hold-up at present is the absence of a military expert on the Republican side. The Republican delegation has asked for Colonel Simatoepang and another TNI officer, ,but this request has been held up by Netherlands, insistence that the TNI officers should only come to Batavia as civilians. A compromise has been worked out and we are hopeful that Simatoepang will come to Batavia early next week. In the meantime, to avoid delay, the senior military observers of the Commission have been asked to try their hand on the drafting of detailed regulations.

As suggested in my last letter, the major task will be to ensure the preservation of the TNI. We shall also have difficulty in obtaining Netherlands acceptance of Republican areas of responsibility outside Jogjakarta. Nevertheless, the discussions are continuing in a good atmosphere and it is appreciated by all parties that an overall arrangement must be achieved which will prevent an outbreak of fighting after the parties have left for discussions at The Hague.

There has been an important development with regard to the BFO request to participate in the negotiations at Batavia. The Republicans believe they could win support from the federalists and are inclined to favour the Commission consulting the BFO.

Formally they are opposed to the BFO being accepted as a party but would not object to the participation of a BFO delegation in the negotiations, provided this would not prejudice the rights, claims and position of the Republic under the Linggadjati and Renville agreements. [5] They leave the decision on the BFO request to the Commission which in turn, has agreed that, for the time being, negotiations should be limited to the two parties to the dispute, but that when the immediate difficulties have been overcome, the BFO might be consulted as a delegation without the right to vote.

The Commission has informed the Chairman of the BFO that it 'hopes to invite shortly representatives of the BFO to a meeting of the United Nations Commission', but has not indicated the reservations which would limit such participation. It is understood that the more progressive federalists will use the Commission's letter against the Sumatran members of the BFO. You will remember from my last letter that the Sumatran delegations have called a second all-Sumatran Conference and are opposing the 'RR agreement'.

Incidentally, it is an interesting example of the influence of the Republican leaders that Bangka has declined the invitation to this second Conference.

The Republican draft on the Round Table Conference (attachment V [6] of last week's letter) has been further discussed between Blom and Supomo. The reactions of the Netherlands delegation are set out in attachment IV. [7]



The Netherlands delegation flew to Jogjakarta on May 23, the Republican delegation and the UNCI party on May 24. At a meeting of the Sub-Committee on the morning of May 25, progress made in the three working groups was reported and progress report (attachment A [8]) adopted. The Netherlands delegation and the UNCI representatives returned to Batavia on May 25, the Republican delegation the following day. On May 26 details of the progress report were released to the press. In view of the publicity to be given it, the economic and financial sections of the report had been somewhat condensed. Further details of the agreements reached on these matters are set out in attachment B [9], which Djuanda handed me before the meeting.

Although the Sub-Committee only stayed in Jogjakarta for one night, during which the 7 o'clock curfew kept us hotel-bound, I managed to have fairly long talks with the Sultan, Djuanda, Laoh, s'Jacob and Brigadier Prior, from which the following information and impressions emerged:

I. MILITARY (a) Suspension of arms The agreement in the progress report is the result of a good deal of hard work by Brigadier Prior. Detailed conditions have yet to be agreed upon, but Prior expected that this would be finalized on May 25. The first suggestion as to the procedure for a 'Suspension of Arms' was a Dutch proposal that Republican forces should first withdraw to a distance of 5 k.m. from all Dutch posts. This was entirely unsatisfactory to the Sultan, because as a result of the short distances between Dutch posts in the northern part of the Residency, it would have involved evacuation of Republican forces from this section. This would have left the Sultan with no forces to oppose communist concentrations on the northeast and northwest boundaries of the Residency upon the withdrawal of the Dutch troops. The Sultan made a counter-proposal that a clear area of 1 kilometre should be left around each Dutch post. This was unsatisfactory to the Dutch, as each post would then be isolated, although the Sultan also proposed that the Dutch would have free use of the roads. Prior now hopes that the parties will agree to an arrangement which will avoid all mention of positions and distances, and that each commander will agree simply to order his troops to cease any hostile action against the other side and to avoid contact.

(b) Withdrawal from the Wonosari bulge The area of the Residency at present occupied by the Dutch includes a large bulge to the southeast, along the Jogjakarta- Semanoe road, as far as Wonosari. Van Langen received orders last week to evacuate this bulge as far north as Patoek, as soon as the Sultan indicated that he was prepared to take over responsibility for law and order in that area. This involves evacuating a number of posts including Wonosari and Gading, where there is an airfield. The Sultan has written a letter indicating his willingness to take over this area at 24 hours' notice, and the Dutch have agreed to evacuate civilians on 28 and 29 May, and troops on 30 May. In addition the Dutch have agreed, after some persuasion by Brigadier Prior, to evacuate 3 other posts, (including Perambanan) near the east boundary of the Residency on the Jogjakarta-Klaten road. This will give the Republicans a corridor between their forces on the northeast boundary of the Residency, opposite the communist concentration around Klaten, and their main forces in the south. The whole of these evacuations are scheduled to take 5 days from May 28, and to be completed on June 1. Before the take-over, the Sultan proposes to visit Wonosari personally to see that everything works smoothly. A strong military observer team will be established at Gading, to assist as far as possible. The Dutch are inclined to regard the Wonosari evacuation as a test for the final evacuation of the Residency. It will be a test of the Sultan's ability to maintain law and order after withdrawal of Dutch troops, and of the proposed method of evacuation and taking-over.

II. ARMS FOR THE POLICE The progress report merely indicates that there is disagreement on the question of arms for the police. There is more than disagreement, as s'Jacob has made it clear that the Dutch will not consider providing any arms. Under the Sultan's command within the Residency, there are approximately 4,500 TNI troops, fairly well provided with arms and ammunition. The Sultan proposes to take some of these troops as auxiliary police with whom he will take over the Residency and maintain law and order in the early stages.

A plan has been prepared for establishment of a regular police force of 2,400, but it will take approximately 4 to 5 weeks to recruit and organize. This force will thus not be ready until some time after the return of the Republican government. The Dutch have agreed to provide uniforms and other equipment for this force but have taken the position that its arms and ammunition must be obtained from the TNI. There is naturally considerable Dutch reluctance to 'arm the Republicans'. The Republicans on the other hand are conscious of the difficulties, political and practical, of disarming TNI troops who have maintained their discipline and morale for the past 5 months, to arm the police. They also point out that such a move would weaken their over-all military situation whereas they consider it important to maintain the TNI intact and under arms until it can be absorbed into the Federal forces.

Unless the Dutch can be pressed to provide for the police, the Republican Government will be faced with a knotty problem upon its return. It will have to establish a regular police force of some kind, and the only way out may be to recruit this force from the present TNI, and to arm them with their present arms. This will mean that former Republican police are left out in the cold.

The Sultan's appreciation of this position may be judged from his statement at the meeting of the Sub-Committee (attachment C [10]) in which he referred to provision of arms for the police as a 'conditio sine qua non'.

III. CIVILIAN EVACUATIONS Civilian evacuations from Jogjakarta have been proceeding since Saturday, May 21, at the rate of 1,000 to 1,200 per day.

Unfortunately the first convoy was reported to have been 'attacked', while Dutch troops claim to have found an aerial bomb on the road before the second convoy passed over. These incidents occurred on the Jogjakarta-Magelang road near the boundary of the Residency, and are attributed to communist forces located near Moentilan (outside the Residency). s'Jacob informed me that the 'attack' on the first convoy consisted of a little sniping from a range of more than 1 k.m. There were, of course, no casualties.

The Dutch appear disturbed about the finding of the aerial bomb on Sunday, but the Sultan suggests that it may have been put on the road by the people who later found it there. In any case, the Dutch press made the most of these incidents which also provide the ostensible reason for delay in increasing the rate of evacuations to 3,000 per day.

The Dutch have already started military operations against the communists around Moentilan, which they expect to complete by June 1. Until then, they insist that all convoys along the Jogjakarta- Magelang road must be given full military protection. With the personnel at present at their disposal, this cannot be done for convoys larger than those at present travelling. Evacuation from May 21 to June 1 (11 days) at 1,000 per day will thus total 11,000. Taking the Dutch estimates of 30,000 evacuees (it fluctuates from day to day and has risen as high as 45,000), this would leave a further 19,000, which could be evacuated in a further 7 days at the rate of 3,000 per day. Civilian evacuations would therefore be unlikely to be completed before June 7. The Dutch have insisted that military evacuation cannot commence until civilian evacuations are completed, though the Sultan and Djuanda have urged that troops could be evacuated simultaneously with the last civilians. Allowing 4 days for the military evacuation, this would take us to June 11, leaving 4 days prior to June 15 to prepare for the return of the Republican Government. This is the basis on which the parties, in the progress report, hoped that the return of the Republican Government might take place about the middle of June.

The Republicans are still sceptical of the Dutch estimates of the total evacuations. The Sultan has increased his estimate from 3,000 to 10,000 but remains to be convinced that the latter figure will be exceeded. In particular, he has received assurances from the Chinese Vice-Consul that not more than 5,000 Chinese would be evacuated, whereas the Dutch include at least 15,000 in their estimates.

IV. INTIMIDATION There have been numerous Republican allegations that Dutch troops in Jogjakarta are attempting to 'intimidate' people into the belief that their lives will be in danger after the Dutch withdrawal and that they should evacuate. It has frequently been alleged, for instance, that Dutch troops are responsible for the firing which (until the last few days) was heard nightly around the Jogjakarta perimeter, for spreading many disturbing and provocative rumours and for rampok and disorders in the city. The following instances are worthy of note:-

(a) Earlier this month, on a night when particularly heavy firing was heard from the eastern perimeter of the city, Brigadier Prior made a personal inspection to establish the cause of the shooting.

He found that Dutch posts were firing heavily at random, but that there was no answering fire. The following morning he reported this to Colonel van Langen, who refused to believe him and claimed that his posts had been attacked and had merely returned fire.

(b) The Sultan, members off the Republican delegation and, in fact, every Indonesian in Jogjakarta with whom I spoke, are convinced that many reported 'attacks' on Dutch positions are staged by the Dutch themselves. According to the Sultan, the 'attackers' often arrive and retreat in jeeps and other transport and use weapons and ammunition which the TNI do not possess, while they also use signals which are never used by the TNI. Despite heavy firing, there are usually no casualties in these 'attacks'.

(c) The Sultan believes that the 'attacks' on the two evacuee convoys were 'staged'.

(d) While I was talking to s'Jacob on the night of May 24, the Resident (Lyklama) rushed in, and commenced a furious and agitated conversation in Dutch. It appeared that he was informing s'Jacob about an attack on his house during the afternoon by Indonesians using small arms and a couple of hand grenades. There were no casualties among the Resident's people but he informed us that six of the attackers were killed. Shooting had occurred during the afternoon, but I was unable to obtain verification of the attack or of the six killed. I had no time to investigate further but I could not help feeling that there was an attempt to impress the UNCI people present with the 'realities' of the situation, and the terrors which would face the population after the Dutch withdrawal.

(e) Numbers of people in Jogjakarta have been visited by Dutch soldiers and advised to register for evacuation, as their lives would be in danger upon the withdrawal of Dutch troops. Among those so advised was Mrs. Ali Sastroamidjojo, wife of the Republican Minister of Education. In addition I have it from Datan Taris, formerly Hatta's aide and now in business at Jogjakarta, that numerous shopkeepers have received the same advice.

(f) During the past few weeks numerous posters and signs have appeared in various parts of the town, designed to add to the uncertainty and confusion. One carries a 'communist' threat to kill Sukarno and Hatta upon their return, while another, apparently expressing the feelings of Dutch troops, says, 'We will be back within three months.' A 'communist' pamphlet has recently received wide circulation. I was unable to obtain a copy. It is claimed that the quality of the paper, as well as the printing, spelling and language, invite speculation as to the source of the pamphlet.

V. SULTAN'S STATEMENT Attachment D [11] is the statement by the Sultan, which was issued through his own and Dutch channels on May 26.

VI. CONCLUSION The parties have not yet been able to agree upon a definite target date for the return of the Republican Government to Jogjakarta.

The question of arms for the police is still unsettled, but this need not necessarily delay the re-establishment of the Government.

Everything else seems to have been agreed except the actual date.

The Republican delegation has pressed strongly for a definite date, but the Dutch have resisted so far for two reasons:-

(a) they claim it is not yet possible to estimate the time required to complete the civilian evacuations in view of uncertainty as to:

(i) the total number of evacuees, (ii) the date on which full scale movement can commence.

(b) they wish to see how the evacuation of the Wonosari bulge is carried out before arranging details for the final evacuation.

s'Jacob has privately admitted, however, that he is not authorized to agree to a target date. Van Royen apparently does not wish to fix a date until further progress has been made in Sub-Committee II as to the form of the cease-fire order to be issued by both parties.

1 Documents 382 and 412.

2 The text of the Progress Reports of the Working Groups of Sub- Committee 1 is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Fourth Year, Special Supplement No. 5, pp.47-58.

3 Attachment II contained draft directives to be issued by the Netherlands and Republican Governments pursuant to the Roem -Van Roijen Agreement (see Document 376).

4 See Documents 15 and 30.

5 See Appendix I in Volume XI and Documents 22, 23 and 24 in Volume XIII.

6 See note 8 to Document 412.

7 Attachment IV contained the Netherlands Delegation's comments dated 20 May on the Republican Delegation's Paper on the Round Table Conference dated 18 May (see note 8 to Document 412).

8 The text of the Progress Reports dated 25 May of the three Working Groups of Sub-Committee I is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Fourth Year, Special Supplement No. 5, pp.47-49.

9 Attachment 'B' was the Progress Report of Working Group III of Sub-Committee I. This report dealt with the economic requirement of the restoration of the Republican Government to Djokjakarta.

10 Attachment 'C' was a note dated 24 May by R.Soemarto declaring that the provision of arms to the Republican police was a Conditio sine qua non.

11 Attachment 'D' was a statement by the Sultan of Djokjakarta guaranteeing life and property to all who stayed in Djokjakarta after the withdrawal of Dutch troops.

[AA : A1838, 401/1/2/6, i]