302 Officer to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram Hague 2 THE HAGUE, 11 June 1946, 2.20 p.m.

SECRET

My telegram Hague 1. [1] Both Her Majesty and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, on whom I called on the A were most cordial.

2. The Minister for Foreign Affairs referred to the question of Dutch Ships held up in Australia [2] as the one point of friction between us. I told him that I would be glad to put forward any proposal he might make but said that, in my opinion it was useless to discuss any involving return of the ships to the Netherlands East Indies at present. When Her Majesty referred to the subject at my audience the Minister for Foreign Affairs said that he proposed to discuss the subject with me at an early date and Her Majesty seemed satisfied.

3. The only remaining solution I can think of is the charter of the ship for a period to Australia. I understand that this was suggested before but Dutch terms were too high. Could this suggestion be reopened.

Please advise urgently. [3]

1 Dispatched 8 June. Officer reported that he had presented his credentials to Queen Wilhelmina that morning.

2 See Document 41, note 6, Document 42, note 2 and Document 64.

3 The External Affairs Dept replied an 21 June that, 'the Dutch here will not consider chartering the ships to Australia.'

[AA:A1838/2, 401/4/4/1, iii]