124 Addison to Australian Government

Cablegram 148 LONDON, 18 July 1947, 8.35 p.m.


Your telegram 181 of 16th July. [1] Indonesian situation.

I have consulted the Foreign Secretary on proposal in your telegram that Australian Government should raise matter of the Netherlands-Indonesian dispute in the Security Council or the Assembly if agreement between the two parties cannot be reached at this stage.

2. We fully appreciate and share the concern of the Australian Government at the continuance of this dangerous and difficult situation in the Netherlands East Indies. We are disappointed, however, to see that the Australian Government do not feel that they have been sufficiently consulted by the United Kingdom Government over this problem. The Australian Government have in fact been kept continuously informed of developments in the Indonesian situation and of the action taken by the United Kingdom Government and it has always been open to them to express their views on these communications.

3. Reference has been made to the occasions recently when the United Kingdom Government have urged the Indonesians to meet the Dutch half way, but no reference is made to the continuous pressure which has been applied to the Dutch both in London and The Hague and to the very forcible indication of the disapproval with which the United Kingdom Government would regard resort to force by the Dutch.

4. As regards the suggestion in paragraph 7 of your telegram, even if fighting should actually break out in Java, the outcome of any appeal to the United Nations would seem to us very doubtful, since this would inevitably open the door to Russian intervention-an opportunity which would be cordially welcomed by the Soviet Government-in this most delicate problem in South East Asia, where it has hitherto been possible largely to exclude Soviet influence.

We may be sure that Russia would use this opportunity as far as possible to embarrass and discredit the Western Powers and to pose as the champion of oppressed Asiatic peoples.

5. We therefore earnestly hope that the Australian Government will consider most carefully before embarking on the course which they have indicated. We should welcome a further interchange of views on this question, and should you so desire our Delegation will be glad to discuss it with the Australian Government when they reach Canberra in August for the Japanese Peace Talks, though not of course as part of the Agenda.

1 Document 116.

[AA:A1838/274, 854/10/4, i]