74 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K248 BATAVIA, 13 January 1949, 11.10 a.m.

RESTRICTED

In a personal interview this evening, January 12th, Drees made the following points:

(1) The conferences with the federalists directed to the formation of an interim Government on the basis of the Dutch decree [1], have made little progress in the absence of Anak Agung, who has been detained by the task of forming a new Government in East Indonesia. The East Indonesia Delegation is expected to arrive in Batavia tonight.

(2) It is hoped Republicans will accept the positions in the Interim Government. The Federalists are divided on the desirability of an agreement with Soekarno and Hatta.

(3) The Netherlands delegation will be authorized to inform the Security Council that the Netherlands might have been prepared to establish a date for Indonesian elections and to transfer sovereignty in the near future. Drees did not commit himself on the date for the elections but I gather that they would be held 6 to 12 months from now.

(4) There are serious difficulties in the way of re-establishing the Republican administrations in the old Republican territories.

(5) The Dutch will endeavour to justify their military action to the Security Council by submitting documents alleging that the Republican Government is responsible for infiltrations, terrorism in Netherlands-controlled territories. (It will be recalled that the Republican Government alleged that earlier documents submitted to the Committee by the Dutch were forgeries.) (6) Drees personally would never have agreed to military action had it not been for 'disorders and murders sponsored by the Republicans'.

(7) Netherlands will have an extremely difficult task in interim period.

(8) He hoped the Netherlands relations with Australia would improve.

1 The Administration of Indonesia During Transition Period Decree, Bewind Indonesie in Overganstijd (BIO) decree, was promulgated on 18 December 1948 and gave sweeping powers to the Netherlands High Representative of the Crown. For example, he could suspend the operation of any federal law or ordinance if, in his opinion, it conflicted with the Netherlands constitution, the BIO decree itself, or Crown decisions.

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