38 Department of External Affairs to Ballard

Cablegram 70 CANBERRA, 18 April, 1947

MOST IMMEDIATE SECRET

We learn from Officer that our request for visas has been favourably received on the basis of an arrangement suggested by Foreign Minister at The Hague for officials to go to Batavia as unostentatiously as possible and one by one. However, The Hague authorities state that they must consult Batavia and have promised to do so and advise as quickly as possible.

You should use your discretion, but it would appear to us that, in these circumstances, it would be useful for you immediately to explain to Van Mook that we have attempted to meet their difficulties by deferring immediate visit now for ten days and by falling into line with a Hague suggestion that the four officials concerned should travel as unostentatiously as possible and separately and as members of the Australian Consulate. This could not seem unusual as we understand the British Consulate numbers about ten. We hope that, in these circumstances, Van Mook will readily accept The Hague suggestion and co-operate to our mutual advantage. We have informed The Hague that we accept their proposal and will send officials one by one, the first of whom will leave for Singapore tomorrow, Saturday. It will be useful for you to know that, in response [to] a request from Officer, we assured the Netherlands Foreign Minister that we would use every endeavour to avoid embarrassment, particularly on the question of representation.

As time is so short, it would be useful if we could know Van Mook's reply to The Hague.

[AA:A1838/2, 401/1/3/2, i]