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198 Massey to Evatt

Dispatch 3 14 8 SINGAPORE, 15 July 1948


[matter omitted] is clear where Australia's interests lie in the current
emergency. Although the eventuality is remote, a Communist success
in Malaya and the establishment here of a Communist state would be
followed ultimately by a Communist seizure of power in Indonesia.

For if the Dutch succeed in present plans to reduce the Republic
to nothing and reimpose their own rule, the moderate Indonesian
nationalists, with whom we have worked and hope to work in future,
can be expected to disappear. The nationalist movement would then
be captured by the Communist Party, and when the Dutch were driven
out, as some day they must, 'the iron curtain' would come down in
Australia's most immediately neighbouring territory. If I am not
misjudging our national interests I feel sure we would need to
oppose this, both because it would represent the installation upon
our doorstep of a regime fundamentally opposed to our own
conceptions of social democracy, and because it would place
control of our outer zone of defence in Chinese hands. It is a
truism that our interests are bound up with those of the
Indonesian nationalists, but it is perhaps less readily
appreciated that they are bound up too with the less advanced and
less politically conscious Malays of the peninsula. Apart from the
immediate danger which it represents to our nationals in Malaya,
we must realise that this insurrection offers a long-term threat
to our strategic interests, because its success, in the last
resort, would prevent the creation of an effective Malay-
Indonesian barrier between Australia and Asia.

[AA:A4231/2, 1948 SINGAPORE]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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