369 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram 606 CANBERRA, 9 October 1947, 12 noon


Your UN.952. [1]

Eaton, and also military observers, one of whom has returned [2], is emphatic that there can be no satisfactory outcome unless there is a demarcation line set or troop withdrawals to some given points. They are convinced that the Indonesians will give undertakings regarding the safety of those who have collaborated with the Dutch and of Chinese and other personnel whom the Dutch now say they are protecting. The Indonesian Commanders are in touch with headquarters by radio, and there would be no great difficulty in arranging orderly withdrawals.

2. The present absurd position regarding claimed demarcation lines was brought out by the recent American 'plane crash [3] and the capture by Indonesians of Dutch soldiers in what has been claimed by the Dutch as a Dutch area.

1 Dispatched on 7 October, it reported discussion in the Security Council in which the representatives of India, Poland and Indonesia had all either directly or indirectly supported the Soviet draft resolution calling for the withdrawal of troops to positions held prior to the start of hostilities (see Document 365) while the representative of China had urged that the Committee of Three use its good offices to secure a settlement.

2 Spence.

3 The reference is to the forced landing of an American aircraft at Pameungpeuk on the south coast of Java. Although the area was within the territory claimed by Van Mook to be under Dutch control (see Document 316, note 2), three Dutch soldiers travelling on the aircraft were detained and later released by local Republican forces.

[AA:A1838/283, 403/3/1/1, xi]