207 Netherlands Legation in Canberra to Department of External Affairs

Note C9/3823 CANBERRA, 31 July 1947

URGENT

The Royal Netherlands Legation presents its compliments and has the honour to transmit herewith to the Department of External Affairs the text of a press statement to be released by the Netherlands Minister in the course of today.

This statement embodies the text of a telegraphic communication which has been received by the Legation from the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs regarding the initiative which the Commonwealth Government was already reported to have taken to submit the Indonesian question to the Security Council.

In as far as necessary the Legation draws the attention of the Department to the fact that at the time Baron van Boetzelaer forwarded this message, the contents of the Note dated 30th July [1], which was yesterday handed by Dr. Burton to the Netherlands Minister and of the press statement which was issued later in the afternoon by the Rt. Hon. The Prime Minister on the Indonesian situation [2], had not yet come to the knowledge of the Royal Netherlands Government.

Attachment

Press Statement by His Excellency the Netherlands Minister, Monsieur P. E. Teppema According to a cable message from the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs to the Netherlands Legation Canberra, the following statement was made to the Press on the 30th July:

Notice has been received that the Australian Government, basing itself on Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, has brought the Indonesian situation before the Security Council of the United Nations. Chapter VII deals with

"Action with respect to threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace and Acts of Aggression".

A Netherlands Foreign Office spokesman stated:

"It is very regrettable that a member of the British Commonwealth should have taken this step, in particular after the statement made very recently by Mr. Bevin in the House of Commons. [3]

It is clear that this Australian move will not promote the success of possible further steps which the British Government might undertake with regard to exercising its good offices.

As long as the text of the Australian proposal is not known comment on that proposal cannot, of course, be given.

However, surprise can be expressed at this stage, that the Australian Government has seen fit to bring forward the Indonesian question under Chapter VII of the Charter.

This Chapter deals with 'Acts of aggression, breaches of the Peace and threats to the Peace' and, therefore, only has in view unlawful action of one State against another State. This is not the case in Indonesia.

Apparently the Australian Government shares the erroneous opinion of the Republic, that the Republic should already be considered a Sovereign State.

It may be recalled that according to the Linggadjati Agreement the Republic will not obtain that status, not even after the interim period as the Republic would only become a component-state of the United States of Indonesia.

After the formation of the Netherlands-Indonesian Union, the United States of Indonesia would become a Sovereign State, in the same sense as the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Therefore it would have been more understandable, if the Indonesian case had been brought before the Security Council on the basis of Chapter VI of the Charter. dealing with 'situations which might endanger the maintenance of international peace and security'."

1 Not located.

2 Document 195.

3 See Document 141, note 3.

[AA:A1838/278, 401/3/1/1, iv]