342 Brookes to Burton

Minute CANBERRA, 22 September 1947


Objectives- 1. To secure maximum conditions for Indonesia.

2. To achieve as much as possible through U.N. and thereby assist to build up reputation.

3. To allow the Dutch to save as much face as they can within U.N.

and without.

4. In an effort to influence the Dutch both through the three power committee and without, to bring pressure on U.K. and other members of the British Commonwealth to support Australia. With Commonwealth and particularly U.K. backing to work on the Belgians on the lines that our proposals are the real interpretation of long-term Dutch interests (and thereby their own) and will secure conditions in which trade can be resumed on a long-term basis. At the same time to work on the U.S. through Sayre (primarily).

5. To draw up an agreement on the lines of the U.S.-Philippines [1] and a second [partially] [2] based on Linggadjati but with additional articles to narrow down unsettled points.

6. To arrange a special visit to U.K. immediately in an endeavour to implement point 4 above and to get Belgium either- (a) to agree that the Committee of Three should issue a suggested agreement as outlined in 5 (preferably using U.S.-Philippines as a basis), or (b) to bring pressure on the Dutch for them to come to such an agreement outside the Committee of Three; the Committee then to endorse it.

7. To find out what the strength of the Anglo-Dutch Shell arrangement [3] is, how long the Dutch can afford to keep troops in Indonesia and in what numbers.

8. To establish unofficial contact with Dutch left-wing circles and trade unions. Such contact will be vital at the stage when the Dutch take an agreement to their Parliament.

9. Reference 6. The visit to U.K. should be sponsored by a telegram from the Prime Minister to Mr. Attlee. [4] We cannot afford [to fail]. [5]

[This has been discussed with Messrs Ballard, Shann & Critchley.

We would like an opportunity of discussing it with you.] [6]

1 The text of the United States-Philippines Treaty of 1946 together with protocol is given in Department of State, Bulletin, vol.15, no.383, 3 November 1946, pp.824-6.

2 Words in square brackets were added by hand.

3 The reference is to the collaboration of Dutch and British oil companies through the Royal Dutch-Shell Group, established in 1907.

4 A cablegram was not sent to Attlee. No draft has been located.

5 The text originally read 'not to succeed'.

6 No record of any direct response by Burton has been found.

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