122 Ablegram from Ritchley to Department of External Affairs
Djakarta, 21 November 1950
The Prime Minister and acting Foreign Minister, Natsir,1 this morning appeared extremely sympathetic to the capital development and technical cooperation programmes for South and South East Asia. Natsir confirmed my impression that the Indonesians want to go lowly and would prefer in the first instance to participate in the technical cooperation scheme in a way which would avoid public commitment. He is now considering sending an observer to the Colombo Conference and I would recommend we endeavour to ensure that this observer be given all possible facilities and that in practice no distinction be made between him and the representatives of the other participating governments.
2. Indonesia's most urgent technical needs according to Natsir are connected with the rehabilitation of about 80,000 T.N.I.2 Although the various Indonesian departments have been working on rehabilitation schemes, the Government has not yet managed to provide facilities which will fully occupy these youths. I hope to be able to suggest by memorandum an arrangement whereby we could help the Indonesians in the development of a system of vocational training after further discussions with Natsir on Thursday, 23rd November.
[NAA: 11604, 704/2/2]
1 Mohammad Natsir.
2 Tentara Nasional Indonesia: Indonesian National Army.