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353 Bruce to Evatt

Cablegram N42 LONDON, 18 December 1943, 5.45 p.m.


Owing to van Kleffens [1] being down with flu it has been
impossible for me to have a personal talk with him. To-day the
matter has further developed in that the Netherlands Ambassador
[2], who is acting for van Kleffens, has conveyed to me officially
the information that the Netherlands Minister in Australia [3] has
been instructed to approach the Australian Government down the
following lines.

It is intended as soon as possible again to organise the
Netherlands Indian Government with a view to mak[ing] the
necessary preparations for the re-establishment of Netherlands
authority in the Netherlands Indies. Likewise, preparations have
to be made regarding the providing of personnel for the
administration during the first or military phase and to prepare
the organisation which will, in fact, be able to resume the
Netherlands Administration in the Netherlands Indies.

As important units of this organisation are already in Australia
and as moreover preference has been given to Australia as
organising basis over India or Ceylon, Minister van Mock will
shortly leave for Australia via United States of America, where he
will take up contacts with Australian Government in co-operation
with you. The reinstatement of the Netherlands-Indian Government
will not be effected before this contact shall have taken place
and the necessary arrangements have been made with you and with
the Australian Government.

In view of van Kleffens' illness and the fact that the Netherlands
Minister has now been instructed to approach the Australian
Government it appears that the matter will have to be handled at
your end. [4]

For your own information-I understand, although I cannot guarantee
my information is correct, that the intention is that van Mook
should make a short preliminary visit to Australia and return here
after initiating the arrangements with the Australian Government,
his subsequent return to Australia being governed by the position
in the Far East. [5] If this information is correct, it may
facilitate an arrangement acceptable to you.


1 Netherlands Foreign Minister. See Document 349.

2 Jonkheer E. Michiels van Verduynen.

3 Baron F. C. van Aerssen.

4 Van Aerssen wrote to Curtin on 24 December advising him that van
Mock was to visit Australia to discuss the establishment of a
Netherlands Indies Government organisation with the Commonwealth
Govt. On 31 December Evatt (on behalf of Curtin) replied that the
Commonwealth Govt was ready to discuss the plan with van Mock, but
emphasised that until the latter's arrival 'the Australian
Government reserves its views on the principle of the
establishment in this country of a Netherlands Indies Government
organisation, which it wishes to consider in the light of more
definite information'. Both letters are on file AA:A989, 43-

5 On 20 December Bruce confirmed that van Mock would retain the
position of Netherlands Minister for Colonies and that his visit
to Australia would be of short duration. See cablegram N43 on the
file cited in note 4.

[AA:A989, 43-44/600/5/1/5]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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