278 Ballard to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 276 BATAVIA, 12 August 1947, 3.30 p.m.

IMPORTANT SECRET

The American Consul-General told me that he had seen Soekarno, Sjarifoeddin and senior Ministers for some hours. [1] He explained to them what good offices were along the lines set out my telegram 271. [2] He said they had completely misunderstood the position and expected the party offering good offices to be their advocate to secure appointment of an international Arbitration Commission.

He thought that that was how they regarded the Australian offer too.

I asked whether he had put a definite proposal to them and he replied that he had asked them to say whether or not they accepted the American offer as he had explained it. They promised a reply later.

He added that he thought that Soekarno was not well informed of the Military position.

1 See Document 273 and note 2 thereto.

2 Document 273.

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