247 Department of External Affairs to Hodgson

Cablegram 433 CANBERRA, 6 August 1947, 10.20 a.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE SECRET

Your UN722 [1], paragraph 5.

If this matter is to be raised, it is what we anticipated in yesterday's telegram [2], and there will be considerable embarrassment caused both to the Dutch and the Americans if a group of nations is to be selected. This intention by Romulo to raise the matter should assist in the approaches it was suggested that you and the Ambassador might make. If it can be agreed outside the Security Council before the matter is raised that United States and Australia jointly arbitrate, this is likely to be acceptable to the Indonesians, and you would receive support from Brazil, Colombia, and probably United Kingdom, France, China.

The matter will get out of our hands completely if four or five countries are named as arbitrators. It is to be emphasised that India has not been objective, whereas all through we have adopted a judicial line.

2. The Minister and the Prime Minister have both confirmed that we should attempt to obtain American-Australian mediation.

3. Please keep in close touch with the Ambassador and inform him along the above lines.

4. Your 723. [3] Council should note Dutch reply but not accept implications which prejudge issue for example that Indonesians failed to carry out undertakings.

5. Moreover the Council decision was for arbitration. Dutch speak of the good offices and so do Americans. Please make it clear that Council decision was parties submit to arbitration and question is not one of good offices. Americans should realise what they are taking on.

1 Document 244.

2 Document 241.

3 Document 245.

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