190 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram 461 CANBERRA, 30 July 1947, 11 a.m.


You are instructed to bring to the attention of the Security Council the situation in Indonesia under Article 39 of the Charter.

2. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has been informed that we have reconsidered the position and that we propose referring to Article 39 in an attempt, without debate on merits, immediately to have a decision that hostilities must cease and that the two parties should give effect to Article 17 of the Linggadjati Agreement.

3. My immediately following telegram contains text statement to be made here today by the Prime Minister at 4 p.m. Canberra time. [1]

4. Please consult fully with United Kingdom representative. We will be sending messages to many countries represented on the Security Council in an attempt to point out that we desire a quick decision without debate and that we would regard any debate on procedural issues as most unfortunate in that it would merely prolong the issue and, moreover, be regarded as a political rather than a constitutional point of view. [2] In particular, you should explain to the Chinese representative, whose Government we understand is critical not only of Indonesians but of other Asiatic populations in the area, because of the treatment of Chinese [3], and may therefore desire to defend Dutch action. It should be explained to him, as we are explaining through Copland, that our intention is not to pass judgement on merits of the dispute, but merely to attempt an immediate cessation of hostilities and reference back to the agreement made between the two parties. Any judgement on merits will be made, if by anyone, by the third party which will mediate under Article 17 of the Linggadjati Agreement.

1 See Document 195.

2 Explanatory cablegrams were dispatched to the Legations in Moscow, Nanking, Paris, and Rio de Janeiro (cablegrams 138, 229, P178, and 35 respectively), and the Embassy in Washington (Document 194).

3 On 29 July, the Chinese Government expressed 'grave concern' at acts of arson and violence inflicted by the Indonesian Army upon Chinese nationals in the NEI.

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