432 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K316 BATAVIA, 14 June 1949, 11.38 a.m.


Hatta and his party who flew to Atjeh on June 5th returned on Friday June 10th. They were pleased with their enthusiastic reception and with the spirit of co-operation among the people and authorities. Contrary to Hatta's expectations the Emergency Government is not in Atjeh but in Central Sumatra so the major purpose of the visit could not be achieved. Nevertheless, Sjafruddin was contacted by radio telephone. At present, he is not in accord with the Van Royen/Roem statements [1], but for the sake of unity, will not oppose directly any decisions reached by the Bangka leaders. He explained that if there were any fundamental disagreement he would resign from the Cabinet after the restoration.

2. Hatta is anxious to explain in detail the Van Royen/Roem statement to the Emergency Government and settle with it arrangements for the transmission of authority to the Government of the Republic after the restoration in Djokjakarta.

He is, therefore, proposing to send a party including Roem, Halim and Natsir to the Emergency Government. The visit is unlikely to be undertaken, however, until the time of restoration when Sjafruddin can be brought to Djokjakarta.

3. Colonel Hidayat, Commander of the Republican forces in Sumatra, made a special journey to Atjeh to consult with Hatta, he considered the early drafts of the cease-fire, including Leimena's draft regulations, (annex 4 my letter June 10th [2]), as 'not so bad'. He expressed concern at the continuation of Dutch military aggression after May 7th and felt that the cease-fire agreement should only be completed after the Republican Government had returned to Djokjakarta, and had obtained Military advice.

4. It now seems likely that the Dutch will agree to provide second-hand arms for about 500 Republican police in Djokjakarta.

Whether the evacuation of the Netherlands Forces from Djokjakarta Residency will be completed by the target date, June 20th, depends largely on how quickly the difficulties connected with the cease- fire agreement can be overcome.

5. Van Royen is insisting on the publication of a cease-fire agreement which would enable the Netherlands Government to justify before Parliament, its decision to evacuate Djokjakarta. The Republicans, while ready to agree that the three documents (cease- fire order, the proclamation and regulations) appear reasonable, insist that no advance publicity should be given, and that final agreement can only be reached after the Government has been restored in Djokjakarta and the T.N.I. consulted. The TNI has now made it clear that it is unwilling to participate in negotiations until the Government is restored.

6. Detailed conditions for the round table conference are still to be agreed upon. Cochran favours the Netherlands taking full responsibility for the Conference and UNCI attending with functions or recommending to the parties and reporting to the Security Council. For the time being, at least, the Republicans will insist on the Conference being under the auspices of UNCI.

7. Representatives of areas outside the Republic will be invited by UNCI to participate in discussions shortly. The Commission will consult with the Chairman and a Vice Chairman of BFO this afternoon and endeavour to agree on representatives to whom invitations will then be forwarded through the Chairman of BFO.

1 See Document 376 and 385.

2 See note 7 to Document 431.

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