140 Department of External Affairs to Ballard

Cablegram 202 CANBERRA, 23 July 1947, 4 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Your 243. [1]

This is an obvious attempt to place responsibility on Australian Government.

2. You should reply in writing to memorandum, particularly in answer [to] paragraph 4 [2], pointing out that there are two parties to Agreement under which we are acting, and one party has publicly stated that it does not desire shipment of goods to continue. We object to unilateral interpretation of what constitutes honouring out undertaking. In fact, our good offices were used as requested with immediate results except for delays caused by Dutch, but basic agreement was terminated by action of Dutch. We cannot think that Dutch are seriously advancing possibility of distribution of goods to the benefit of the whole of Indonesia in conditions of hostilities between Dutch and Indonesians.

3. Please draft note along lines, as it is important not to have onus placed on Australian Government in the way in which Dutch are attempting. The onus must be placed wholly on them, as it was their act which made observance of agreement, and therefore continued shipment, impossible. [3]

1 Document 137.

2 See Document 137, note 4.

3 The substance of this cablegram was conveyed by Ballard to Schuurman in a note dated 25 July.

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