62 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram 14 CANBERRA, 11 January 1949, 10.45 p.m.



1. United Kingdom High Commissioner's Office advises that Australia and India are submitting resolution calling upon Dutch:-

(A) To release Indonesian political leaders;

(B) To withdraw within one week their armed forces behind zones existing on December 17th;

(C) To grant full facilities to United Nations Observers;

2. This is first intimation we have of any Australian action.

Please advise immediately.

3. You know our views on the question of withdrawal, release of prisoners, observation of both by Committee of Good Offices, and laying down by Security Council itself of basis of settlement, including holding of elections under Good Offices supervision and recommendation of timing of elections and ultimate transfer of sovereignty.

4. The resolution quoted in 1 above falls short of providing a basis of settlement and we wish to be advised at what stage you propose to take up this question. The essential preparatory step of cleaning up the confusion between the two bodies now stalemated in Indonesia is not achieved by the resolution. We are uncertain of the precise purpose of paragraph (C).

5. United Kingdom will not support (B) on grounds- (1) That views of observers on the spot should first be obtained;

(2) It is doubtful whether Dutch will withdraw; and (3) If they did there would be confusion and reprisals.

United Kingdom propose to be strongly critical of Dutch failures to carry out resolution of December 24th [1] and to insist on evidence that Dutch are prepared to carry out the statements of the Queen and Prime Minister. United Kingdom will move substitution to (B) calling upon United Nations agencies in Indonesia to furnish a report. They will press Dutch presumably without asking for Council resolutions to proceed to setting up of Interim Government, to elections and the transfer of power.

6. The United Kingdom proposal also fails to meet position for reasons stated in paragraph 4 above in addition to which it does not call for withdrawal.

1 See note 3 to Document 31.

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