540 Quinn to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram Hague 218 THE HAGUE, 9 December 1949, 2.20 p.m.



Early this morning a bill for the transfer of sovereignty was passed by the constitutionally required two-thirds majority; 71 votes for, 29 against. The full membership of the Chamber was present and cast their votes as follows: in favour-Catholic Party 32, Party of Labour 27, Party of Freedom and Democracy 8, Christian Historicals 4; against-Historical 5, Anti-Revolutionary 13, Communist 8, Political Reformed 2, Catholic Independent (Welter) 1.

It had been generally forecast before the voting that the party line-up would follow the table set out above. The most doubtful element was the Christian Historicals. It was assumed, however, that their votes would be divided.

2. The Government accepted an amendment proposed by Oud (Freedom and Democracy) adding a third article to the bill covering the agreement. The first article covered acceptance of the agreement, the second gave the title of the bill (Bill for Transfer of Sovereignty to Indonesia). The proposed third article was to the effect that everything possible should be done, in consultation with the Government of RUSI, to take such steps with UNCI or another United Nations body as in Government opinion could be beneficial to a full implementation of right of self-determination under the relative article in R.T.C.


3. Speakers for groups voting for bill all stressed great responsibilities which vote entailed. Oud spoke on the problem of minorities for which his amendment was designed to make provision.

Communists merely continued their previous policy opposing every step towards an agreement with the Republicans.

4. Van [Maa]rseveen ended his comments on behalf of the Government with a warning to the Chamber that the Government could take no responsibility whatsoever for the consequences of the rejection of the bill and that if this should happen the Government would draw its conclusions immediately.

5. Before the vote was taken Stikker read statement giving view of a number of prominent businessmen in Indonesia, whom he mentioned by name to the effect that ratification of the agreement was imperative.

6. In reply to questions by Oud and Welter, Stikker said that Foreign influence had, in fact, exerted pressure on the Government and cited the boycott by Australian Waterside Workers, the threat of a similar American boycott, the threatened cutting off of Marshall Aid to Holland and the ban on Dutch aircraft by India and Pakistan.

[AA : A1838, 403/3/1/1, xxvii]