532 Davis to Moodie

Letter BATAVIA, 23 November 1949


This is to acknowledge your letter [1] of the 4th November which was primarily about New Guinea.

You will doubtless have seen my telegram No. 1110 [2] of the 10th November which gave in paragraph 7 a very brief report of State Department views on this matter. This was sent before receiving your letter. After receiving your letter I took the opportunity while talking to Lacy of the Indonesian Desk to verify the fact that the United States Embassy in Canberra had reported discussions which the Department had with it on this subject.

Having ascertained that the Embassy had fully reported the discussions I sought an amplification of State Department views.

Lacy said that he could not give the official United States position but was of the opinion that the Department favoured Dutch trusteeship for New Guinea. He was aware of the United Kingdom views and suggested that the best course of action might be for Australia, in view of its close association with both the United Kingdom and the Indonesian Governments, to take the initiative in persuading both of these Governments to accept the view that Dutch trusteeship was the best compromise solution. Such a course of action might well have to be taken very slowly and carefully and possibly after sounding out the views of other interested governments, e.g., India, Burma, Siam, Philippines, New Zealand, etc. This suggestion was put forward informally but Lacy mentioned that if we wished to obtain a more formal statement of United States views we might see fit to seek them by means of a note to the State Department.

Lacy mentioned in passing that he thought that India was not inflexibly opposed to Dutch trusteeship and he thought that our High Commissioner [3] in New Delhi might have some success in this matter with Bajpai.

1 Not found.

2 Document 529.

3 H.R.P. Gollan.

[AA : A1838, 400/1/11/1/1, ii]