333 Burton to Evatt

Cablegram 545 CANBERRA, 15 September 1947, 2.45 p.m.


Confirming my 'in clear' message [1], Bevin has expressed view that United Kingdom Government having twice attempted to reach a peaceful settlement and having failed, now looks to a totally new approach, and considers it would be unwise for either the United Kingdom Government or for Killearn to be associated with any new attempt at settlement. The reasoning is curious and Killearn's non-acceptability to the Dutch is probably behind it.

2. The Prime Minister considers we should not press United Kingdom unduly for Killearn as we would probably have their opposition throughout negotiations. He mentioned Foster as an alternative. If you were able to have Sayre as Chairman, it would seem to me preferable to have as Australian representative someone more directly in touch with us, for example Kerr.

3. Eaton anticipates observance of 'cease fire' will terminate end of month when a report will be lodged [2], and the Dutch are anxious for early report. It will be essential for Committee of Three meeting prior to that date and for recommendations in the 'cease fire' report, for example, troop withdrawals, to have been carried out.

4. Eaton's reports on reported shootings at Consular Commission are that there was shooting in the area which he regarded as normal, particularly in view of the convoy movements which would arouse suspicion. [3] He is moving round fairly freely and will be at Sumatra this week, having been to both Djokjakarta and Sourabaya. Meanwhile, Sjarifoeddin has asked the Prime Minister in a shortwave message to despatch an officer to Djokjakarta in order to discuss with him questions which the Indonesians wish to raise before the Committee of Three. [4]

1 Not printed.

2 This estimate was given by Eaton in a cablegram dispatched on 13 September.

3 The incident referred to took place on 10 September in the course of a tour of Dutch occupied areas in East Java by Eaton and the Deputy Consul-General of the United Kingdom, T. E. Lambert.

4 See Document 331.

[AA:A9420/1, 2]