17 Department of External Affairs to Ballard

Cablegram 43 CANBERRA, 26 March 1947


Your 4[5]. [1] We assume that the Dutch will not actively oppose the repatriation of Indonesians in H.M.A.S. Manoora. For our part we cannot agree that the Manoora should visit a Dutch-controlled port before proceeding to Cheribon. We desire this repatriation movement to take place without any interference by the Dutch. It is of the essence of our plan that the Indonesian repatriates should be delivered safely and directly into the custody of Indonesian Republican authorities at Cheribon. We do not intend to depart from this plan.

2. For your own information we do not desire to tell the Dutch what Indonesians will be aboard the Manoora nor to indicate the ultimate destination of each passenger. The Dutch are free to seek this information from the Republican authorities. In any event the final list of the names of repatriates will probably not be available until the party is checked while at sea en route to Cheribon. [2]

1 Dispatched on 21 March, it reported that the Dutch authorities wanted to know the names and ultimate destination in the NEI of passengers travelling on HMAS Manoora and that the Dutch desired to check the identity as well as papers of all Indonesian repatriates.

2 In subsequent exchanges between the Australian and Netherlands Governments, it was agreed that HMAS Manoora would call at Keopang in Dutch Timor on the understanding that the Indonesian repatriates would be allowed to proceed without interference to Cheribon. HMAS Manoora left Brisbane on 3 May for Koepang, Cheribon and Sourabaya with over 400 Indonesian passengers, the majority of whom were former inmates of a Dutch-controlled detention camp at Casino, New South Wales.

[AA: A1838/283, 401/3/1/1, ii]