446 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram UN379 NEW YORK, 21 June 1949, 7.50 p.m.



Palar called this morning to discuss the position in Indonesia. He is especially concerned with three aspects as follows- 1. He fears that unless the round table conference at The Hague is conducted 'under the auspices' of the United Nations Commission, meaning thereby that it should be presided over by the Commission, acceptance of the round table conference by Soekarno and Hatta would be repudiated by the Indonesian people. He feels as a result of discussions with one of his Officers who has just returned from Indonesia, that under American pressure the Indonesian leaders are going further than will be supported by the Emergency Indonesian Government and by the people generally. The Americans apparently do not consider it to be necessary for the Conference to be held under United Nations auspices, although our view, I imagine, would be that this was essential. Palar has thought of trying to get the Security Council to insist on this point but if the United States is taking a definite stand in the matter, positive action by the Council seems unlikely.

Early view of Critchley in this matter would be useful here in anticipation of talk and possible Council meeting, particularly as his letter [1] to the Secretary on 14th May, 1949, states 'Van Royen admitted that although it was a bitter pill, the Netherlands Government had accepted the position of the Commission as set out in the 23rd March directive [2] of the Security Council'.

2. It now appears that, contrary to the Batavia agreement [3], the Dutch are insisting on conditions relating to the cease-fire being carried out before the re-establishment of the Government in Djokjakarta. It has always been our understanding and it was one of the reasons which prompted Australia and India to withdraw for the time being its proposal for full discussion before the General Assembly that such decisions could not be taken until the Republican Government had met in Djokjakarta. Advice as to the position in this matter would also be appreciated.

3. Palar feels that recent developments have tended to obscure the international position of the Republic, especially if the Dutch succeed in relegating the United Nations Commission to a minor role at The Hague Conference. As a result he is seeking to secure the appointment of Representatives of Government to Djokjakarta as soon as the Republic is restored there. He is optimistic that India and Egypt, in any event, will appoint Representatives as soon as possible and he is anxious to know what the reaction of the Australian Government would be to such a proposal.

1 Document 399.

2 See Document 312.

3 See Document 376 and 385.

[AA : A1838, 401/3/1/1, vi]