199 Brookes to Burton

Cablegram 1 [1] BATAVIA, 19 April 1946, 5.10 p.m.


I would be grateful if you would confirm as to whether the following suggestions (some of which were discussed in Sourabaya) regarding the policy to be adopted by the [Australian] [2] political mission in the N.E.I. are in accordance with the wishes of the Minister. If not I would appreciate further guidance.

(1) That the Australian representative should visit as many of the important centres and contact as many of the local leaders as possible in the present circumstances.

(2) That personal relations between the Indonesian leaders and the representative should be developed as far as possible, at least until such time as the outcome of the negotiations at the Hague [3] are known.

(3) That the representative be authorized to inform the Indonesian leaders:-

(a) That the corner stone of Australia's foreign policy is based on the Atlantic Charter.

(b) That the Australian Government is most sympathetic to the legitimate aspirations of the Indonesian people for independence and national development.

(c) That the Australian Government hopes to [develop] the closest and most friendly ties with the peoples of Indonesia and at an opportune time would like to see Indonesian students attending Australian Universities.

(d) That, if at a later date the Indonesian Government so desires, the Australian Government would endeavour to provide a number of technicians, doctors etc., to assist in the re-establishment of [the] local economy.

(e) That if the Indonesian Government wishes to send a goodwill mission to Australia to study the Constitution, processes of Government and democratic procedure, arbitration methods and the working of the Trade Union system, such a mission would doubtless be welcomed.

I would suggest the above points should be made by the representative on an unofficial basis either as the views and hopes of the Minister or as the hopes of the representative if the former expressions were considered to be too binding.


(1) I believe that the present time is the opportune moment for the expression of such views on an unofficial and friendly basis.

This would then lay the foundation for an official approach on the same lines if the negotiations at The Hague are successful. I feel that it is essential that we should capitalize on the present pro- Australian feelings of the Indonesian people. If we do not, then some other nation will and our popularity will decline a good deal.

(2) If the negotiations at The Hague are not successful, then I feel that the whole policy must be reviewed. It would seem to me in that event that Australia should come out very strongly for U.N.O. action and for the right to play a prominent part in such action. The Indonesians, I am sure would welcome our participation and I do suggest that in this eventuality it would be a time for action by Australia and not passive observation.

(3) In view of the attitude of the local British Authorities, I can see no objections on their part to visits made by the representative to various parts of the N.E.I. If the matter is handled carefully there need not be any violent reaction on the part of the Dutch.

(4) Please confirm that you wish me to repeat to you telegrams from myself to the Department containing political information relating to this area.

(5) I would be grateful if you could signal me the result of negotiations at The Hague as soon as known.

(6) Thank you for your signal sent from Singapore regarding staff arrangements and myself. I will take action accordingly.

(7) Signal in reply through War Office to AFNEI or through the Foreign Office to the British Consulate here. [4]

1 To London. Repeated to Canberra as cablegram 38.

2 Words in square brackets are corrected from the Batavia copy on file AA:A4355, 7/1/3/2.

3 See Document 177.

4 On 1 May Evatt instructed that 'Nothing at all should be done pending clearing up of murders.' See Document 196.

[AA:A1838/2, 401/3/10/2, iii]