155 Australian Government to Addison [1]

Cablegram 194 CANBERRA, 25 July 1947, 12.10 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE SECRET

Your D. 642 and your 153. [2]

1. Your further telegram not yet received but in meantime two comments should be made.

2. Argument that reference to Security Council would give Russia opportunity to embarrass and discredit western powers seems to be strong argument in favour of country such as Australia raising matter before it is raised by Russia or some other country which might equally wish to discredit western powers. Refusal to take matter to Security Council on request of one of parties involved is far more likely to discredit western powers in the eyes of Asiatic peoples than any discussions which might take place in the Security Council. It is appreciated that discussions might be embarrassing in relations with Dutch Government, but this is matter of relatively small importance as compared with very great importance of accepting challenge put forward by Asiatic peoples.

Australia's geographical position must always be kept in mind.

Indonesian Prime Minister has stated this situation is test case, and we greatly fear repercussions in this area of an Australian refusal to take action which, on the basis of our known support of United Nations seems called for.

3. For similar reasons, we could not accept the position in which United States and United Kingdom jointly would arbitrate and in which Dutch and Indonesians would be required to bind themselves in advance to accept joint United Kingdom and United States award, as suggested in paragraph 5 of your D.642. Mr. Beasley has already reminded you of our previous message [3] emphasising that it is a matter of vital concern to Australia to be directly associated with any act of mediation or arbitration.

1 Repeated to Beasley as cablegram 263.

2 Documents 150 and 151.

3 See Documents 116 and 141.

[SFU : EVATT COLLECTION, CABLES-LONDON-1947-48]