512 Pritchett to Critchley and Department of External Affairs

Cablegrams The Hague 12, K346 BATAVIA, 20 October 1949


Owing to Wongsonegoro's late arrival from Djocja the Central Joint Board did not meet until yesterday evening, October 19.

2. The parties agreed to accept the arrangement reported in paragraph 2 of my No. 9 (K.343 [1]) with the reservation that both forces stand fast in Parakan and Tjandiroto, pending further discussions.

3. Wongsonegoro handled the East Java question very moderately and said that though the situation was far from satisfactory there was no need for pessimism. However a total of 2000 TNI and Republican civil officers had been arrested in recent weeks and the TNI had lost more arms since the Cease-Hostilities than in eight months of guerilla fighting. He therefore requested that all TNI and civil administration officers imprisoned since the Cease-Hostilities be released, that all arms be returned, and that there be no further arrests and seizure of arms without prior consultation in the local Joint Committee and between local commanders. De Beus, the Netherlands representative, agreed that the situation in East Java was unsatisfactory but claimed it was no worse than it had always been since the Cease-Hostilities came into effect and no more explosive than in other areas. While he did not accept the Republican figures, he maintained that all arrests made were quite legal. However, on the understanding that the arrangement would be reciprocal, he agreed to refer Wongsonegoro's requests to his Government for consideration and would try to have a reply within a week.

4. The UNCI proposal for a military sub-committee to speed up the allocation of military patrolling responsibilities was accepted by the Republic and the FCA but rejected by the Dutch on the grounds that it excluded political and administrative considerations and was unnecessary in view of the agreement just reached for part of Central Java. Dow, the Chairman, did not argue the case but accepted for consideration a Netherlands counter suggestion that the military advisors of the parties plus an UNCI military representative deal with difficulties and disagreements as they arise. This would amount to such the same thing if applied directly to those areas not included in yesterday's agreement.

5. The Republican representative also raised the questions of freedom of movement for Republican officials and of Republican communications between Kotaradja, Batavia and Djocjakarta and the local Joint Committees. The Dutch agreed to the installation of a transmitter at Batavia, for which we have been pressing for some time, but requested time to consider the other items.

6. Your No. 160 [2], Milex returned from a tour of East Java and East Pasundan yesterday and Milob McLeod is expected to return from a special mission to Sourabaya this afternoon. I shall cable their reports as soon as possible.

1 Document 506.

2 Dispatched on 19 October, it requested Pritchett's assessment of the situation in East Java and East Pasundan including the whereabouts and summarised reports of military observers.

[AA : A4357/2, 252, ii]