132 Department of External Affairs to Ballard

Cablegram 198 CANBERRA, 21 July 1947, 3.20 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE SECRET

Your 239. [1] You can well imagine reaction here of reports of Dutch attacking Indonesian positions. It was previously arranged that ships at present loading should call at Indonesian ports on grounds that distribution through Batavia might not be regarded as satisfactory unless with the concurrence of Indonesians.

2. In the present situation, it is all the more important that intention to distribute according to the agreement be demonstrated and therefore that ships should first off-load at Indonesian ports.

3. Please see Schuurman and make this point with him. Also indicate, in reply to his paragraph 3, that Australian Government has already honoured its undertaking, which was to use its good offices for ships to load on the basis of agreement made between Indonesians and Dutch. Two ships are loading and undertaking has been carried out. If loading ceases, it will be because of subsequent developments which create doubts as to whether terms of agreement can be implemented by both parties.

4. You should reply in a memorandum to Schuurman along these lines, pointing out that, because of the new situation, we would like assurance that arrangements already made, and in particular off-loading at Indonesian ports, have not been changed. [2] Quickest possible reply necessary to handle situation here.

1 Document 125.

2 The substance of this cablegram was conveyed to Schuurman in a memorandum dated 22 July.

[AA:A1838/283, 401/3/10/8, i]