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279 Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, to Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs

Cablegram 31 LONDON, 17 January 1942, 6.48 p.m.


Your telegram 18. [1] I have felt out with Netherlands Government
positions regarding higher status but their reaction is strongly
against. The reason for this attitude which I have been given
privately and which I transmit for your personal information is
that they do not like anything which tends to suggest an
independent status for Netherlands East Indies. Rightly or wrongly
they feel accrediting a diplomatic representative by Australia
would have this effect. In the circumstances having regard to the
fact that our representative, whatever he is called, will be
afforded all necessary facilities and status I suggest we should
not press them.

All my enquiries indicated van Aerssen is a first class person.



1 Dispatched 13 January, On file AA:A981, Netherlands 20, i. It
reported that the Netherlands Geer proposed to appoint Baron van
Aerssen, previously Netherlands Minister to Iran, as Minister to
Australia. It also instructed Bruce to inquire whether, in view of
the changed political conditions in the Pacific, the Netherlands
Govt would now accept an Australian representative of higher
status than Consul-General in Batavia.

2 Van Aerssen presented his credentials as Netherlands Minister to
Australia on 16 April. Bruce was appointed Minister to the
Netherlands on 3 March and presented his credentials to Queen
Wilhelmina on 18 March. The appointment of Lt Col Eugene Gorman as
Consul-General in Batavia was announced on 1 February, but the
Japanese invasion of the Netherlands East Indies prevented him
from taking up the position.

[AA:A981, NETHERLANDS 20, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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