513 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram C24 THE HAGUE, 19 October 1949, 11.50 p.m.


The following is a summary of a formal statement on the situation in Indonesia made to the Steering Committee by Van Royen on behalf of the Netherlands delegation.

(a) In talks with the high representative of the crown the Sultan of Jogjakarta had expressed the view that incidents might occur in Java and had proposed discussions between the respective staffs.

(b) The Sultan had presented a plan in the form of an Aide Memoire which would mean that Netherlands troops would patrol only Capitals and communication roads.

(c) Notwithstanding a promise to the high representative of the Crown to avoid disclosing anything in connection with the subjects under discussion and in contradiction to Article 17 [of Part 2] [1] of the Manual the Sultan had made a statement [2] to the press on his return to Jogjakarta.

(d) The Netherlands had reasons for serious concern over the situation in middle and East Java arising from infiltration tactics of the T.N.I. and the efforts of the T.N.I. to supersede existing civil administrations and to prevent by oppressive methods the administration from performing its functions. The facts had been repeatedly pointed out to the Republican Government as well as to the U.N.C.I. over the last two months.

Now 'total dislocation of the administration is becoming apparent immediately prior to the transfer of sovereignty'...'this development goes hand in hand with the concentration of communist forces combined in many places with a gradual communist infiltration into the T.N.I.' (e) As stated in the Aide Memoire [3] of the high representative of the Crown handed to the Sultan on 15th October, the Sultan's proposals were at variance with arrangements made within the framework of the cease-fire and were in contradiction with certain parts in the Roem - Van Royen statements. [4] Moreover just before the end of the R.T.C. such plans were unacceptable because they would endanger an orderly transfer of sovereignty.

2. In conclusion Van Royen requested the U.N.C.I. to bring the statement to the knowledge of the Security Council.

3. In reply Hatta said the present situation in Java was cause for serious concern and if the Netherlands delegation wished to bring this to the attention of the United Nations Security Council through the U.N.C.I. his delegation would have no objection. He would need to study the statement and the written texts of the Aide Memoires before being able to formulate his delegation's views to be referred to the Security Council.

4. Cochran as U.N.C.I. Chairman of the week endeavoured to dissuade the Netherlands from reporting at this stage and reserved the position of the Commission as to whether it should forward the statements of the parties to the Security Council.

5. Van Royen insisted however that his Government did not consider it in keeping with its sense of responsibility to keep the Security Council unaware of what was going on though 'no immediate action would be required on the part of the Council'. He felt that the most convenient and amicable way of calling the attention of the Security Council was through U.N.C.I. intervention. Should U.N.C.I. not be ready to undertake such an intervention his Government would be prepared to act through its permanent representative at Lake Success.

6. Hatta also felt that if the situation in Java were to deteriorate any further the matter should be brought to the attention of the Security Council even though no immediate action on its part would be called for. Intervention of the Security Council in the Indonesian question was of a nature to strengthen the confidence of the Indonesian people. The situation in Java could not last much longer without leading to serious trouble and that was a very strong reason for reaching resolutions in the R.T.C. at the earliest possible moment.

7. While the Republicans feel they have nothing to fear from an international discussion of the Indonesian problem at this stage I am afraid that the reference of the Netherlands statement to the Security Council would indicate such a lack of confidence in the outcome of the present negotiations that it might make conditions more difficult in Indonesia. I am therefore urging that:

(a) The Commission should at least delay any approach to the Security Council until it has received a report from the Deputies in Batavia.

(b) No publicity be given to the present fears.

(c) All efforts be concentrated on successfully concluding the R.T.C. as quickly as possible.

(d) If possible the Netherlands Government issue a reassuring statement regarding the transfer of sovereignty.

1 Text in square brackets inserted from a copy on file AA :

A4357/2, 252, ii. See note 3 to Document 473.

2 See Document 510.

3 See note 2 to Document 510.

4 See Documents 376 and 385.

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