507 Pritchett to Critchley and Department of External Affairs

Cablegram [The Hague] 10, K344 BATAVIA, 15 October 1949, 10.15


Received 16 October 1949, 8.30 a.m.


My telegram 9 (K343). [1]

At the Central Joint Board meeting yesterday, October 14th, the Netherlands Representative explained [that the] [2] s'Jacob proposals [3] could not, for the time being, be implemented since the Republic did not accept certain 'Fundamental features' (i.e.

the proposal to withdraw from the Negaras). The Netherlands Delegation therefore, considered that it was necessary to decide on delineations of zones of patrolling and had accordingly initiated discussions on the arrangements for those areas where the parties appeared most likely to reach agreement. The [resulting] provisional agreement of October 10th was in accordance with the cease-hostilities agreement, and in Purwokerto and Magelang, in line with the military observers' recommendations; moreover, it provided for the maintenance of law and order over a wide area and gave a good basis for more extensive arrangements. The Netherlands delegation accepted it.

2. The Republican representative [4] argued that where the T.N.I.

withdrew, experience showed that the Dutch forces were not able to cope adequately with the disorderly elements, and consequently, the position was made more difficult for the T.N.I. when it should later take over again after the withdrawal of the Dutch forces.

The Republic was particularly concerned about this danger in the Temanggoeng-Magelang area where there were opposition elements which had caused trouble at the time of the Madiun uprising. The proposed arrangement was acceptable if the Dutch would agree to co-ordinated patrolling in these areas, but the Republican Delegation could not accept the withdrawal of the T.N.I. I understand, also, that the Republicans have information of a Dutch plan to maintain the Northern areas of Java under K.N.I.L.

control. In view of this pressure for their withdrawal from the Negaras, they are reluctant to adopt the present arrangement until their position in other areas is clearer.

3. The F.C.A. representative [5] supported the Republic but the Dutch not being agreeable to the Republican suggestions the matter was referred to the U.N.C.I. under paragraph 3(C) [6] part 2 of the manual.

4. The Chairman [7] then read a statement of the U.N.C.I.

representatives. This pointed out that the recent discussions between the parties had not yet resulted in any agreement for an overall settlement of the military situation in Java and Sumatra.

At the same time in their discussions in the local Joint Committee the parties had nowhere reached agreement and were unlikely to in the near future. The U.N.C.I. representatives were reluctant to intervene in parties' direct discussions if there were a clear possibility of an early settlement but they considered the present situation placed too great a strain upon the cease-hostilities agreement and would result in instabilities which would seriously endanger satisfactory implementation of the agreement. This urgent position required immediate steps by the Board. They, therefore, proposed a military sub-committee of the Netherlands and Republican senior staff officers, together with the U.N.C.I.

military representatives, to draw up an arrangement for the allocation of military patrolling responsibilities firstly for Java and then for Sumatra. To avoid a direct Dutch refusal of this proposal, as appeared likely before the meeting, consideration was deferred until the following meeting.

5. A Republican request that the Board consider the situation in East Java was also deferred at the request of the Netherlands who pleaded insufficient notice. The Board will probably meet again on Monday 6. The Sultan of Djokjakarta is sending an aide memoire to Lovink on Friday morning. In this, the Republican Government referred to the serious situation in East Java and the growing difficulties in East Pasundan and expressed its fear that if, in the military sphere, positive steps were not taken immediately then it would become almost impossible to solve the difficulties. It, therefore, most urgently insisted that the parties of the military staffs meet immediately and arrange for (a) Co-ordinated military mission for the restoration of law and order and (b) the effective dislocation of military forces (in the light of Lovink's earlier informal promise in this respect and the coming transfer of sovereignty). The Republic proposed that the Dutch should regroup by Regencies and T.N.I. by districts, the Dutch maintaining control of communication highways. From these positions, the two forces could then co-ordinate patrolling.

7. The Sultan reported the meeting to be most unsatisfactory but Lovink asked for further details and has cabled to The Hague for instructions.

1 Document 506.

2 Text in square brackets in this Document inserted from a copy on file AA : A4357/2, 252, ii.

3 See Document 494.

4 Wongsonegoro.

5 Alwi.

6 Paragraph 3 (c) of the Manual stated that 'If no agreement can be reached, the Board representative of each party and of the FCA shall submit their views in a formal meeting. It will then be the duty of the Commission's Board representatives to make such recommendations to the parties, the FCA and/or to the Commission as may be required'.

7 J.R.L. van den Bloock.

[AA : A1838, 403/2/2/2, viii]