243 Embassy in Washington to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 1037 WASHINGTON, 4 August 1947, 6.35 p.m.


Your 930. [1] Indonesia.

All points in your telegram were conveyed this morning by Forsyth to Reber, Acting Deputy Director of the European Division of State Department, and two assistants concerned with Indonesian situation. Reber undertook that we should be kept informed of any developments in regard to Indonesia and said this would give us opportunity to comment. State Department's view was however that no further action was possible at present. Security Council had ordered the cease fire and United States Government had offered its good offices. This offer had been accepted by the Dutch but until it was known whether Indonesians also accepted and whether the cease fire had actually taken place any discussion of what the United States Government would do would be purely hypothetical.

Forsyth endeavoured to elicit some indication of what possible courses of action were in mind but was very definitely given to understand that United States Government would make no further move for the present. In the view of officials mentioned the question of appointment of an arbitrator and even question of arbitration did not arise at present.

2. Reber closed the interview by emphasising that while they quite understood Australia's special interest in this matter, they hoped that we would show no less interest in other equally important matters now before the Security Council.

3. Interview followed immediately on a conference between Lovett and officers handling Indonesia so that it seems fair to assume that Reber was taking a considered position and that State Department is not at present prepared to discuss possible courses of action.

4. In course of discussion United States officials made following points:-

(a) It might be said that Secretary-General of United Nations had right under Article 99 without specific instruction from Security Council to send out his own investigator to determine whether cease fire was observed or not.

(b) Depending on events and especially Indonesian reactions United States might have to consider how long its offer of good offices should remain open. United States would therefore necessarily keep itself informed of events.

(c) It was at least doubtful whether arbitration could be based on Article 17 of Linggardjati. [2] In this connection Morgan cited the Dutch view that Linggardjati had not been put into effect.

(See para 4 of our 1012. [3]) 5. We are informing Hodgson.

1 See Document 228, paragraph 2, and note 2 thereto.

2 See Appendix I.

3 Document 202.

[AA:A3300/2, 441]