390 Department of External Affairs to Eaton

Cablegram 314 CANBERRA, 25 October 1947


Power Committee has met and agreed upon following further message to Djokjakarta: BEGINS-

'The Committee has received the communication from the Republic of Indonesia for-warded by Vice-Premier Gani on October 23rd, 1947.

The Committee notes with pleasure that the Government of Indonesia are prepared to co-operate and are anxious to meet with the Committee as soon as possible. The Committee also notes the difficulties of communication.

To avoid further difficulties with communications and in order to meet at the earliest possible time, the Committee proposes, if it is agreeable to the Government of the Republic of Indonesia, to confer with the Government of the Republic [at] Djokjakarta or at any other convenient place, to arrange for a neutral place or places agreeable to both parties at which the substantive discussions are later to be held.

The Committee also notes that the Government of the Republic prefer that discussions be held outside Indonesia and that they agree that the discussions be held anywhere else providing they are not held in Dutch-occupied territory. The Committee wishes to make clear that the only purpose of suggesting a conference in Djokjakarta is to determine a neutral or mutually agreeable place or places at which the substantive discussions are to be held, the arrangements for such discussions, and other preliminary matters.

In this way, the substantive discussions may be begun with the least possible delay. The Committee repeats that it is prepared to hold the substantive discussions at any place agreeable to both parties.

Believing that avoidance of unnecessary delay is to the ultimate benefit of both parties, the Committee, pending receipt of a reply from the Government of the Republic, made arrangements to proceed to Batavia in order that it might be in a convenient position to arrange to confer with each party, in turn, concerning these essential preliminaries. The Committee will arrive at Batavia on Monday October 27th, prepared either to confer with the Netherlands Government concerning these preliminaries or to proceed first to Djokjakarta for such a conference with the Government of the Republic. The Committee will establish communications with the Government of the Republic as soon as possible upon the Committee's arrival in Batavia.

Mr. Justice Richard Kirby, Chairman, Committee of Good Offices, United Nations Security Council.' ENDS.

2. Message is being transmitted in all short wave broadcasts to Indonesia from Melbourne tonight and tomorrow. Committee would like if possible to receive Republican Government's acknowledgement before its departure from Sydney tomorrow evening.

Please do all you can to ensure that Republic Government receives messages. Short wave monitoring service in Melbourne will be listening for any reply from Djokjakarta Radio.

You should also get in touch with Gani and explain position to him, emphasising that Committee desires him to understand that it regards Batavia merely as a convenient staging point in its itinerary and is in no sense attempting to influence choice of venue for substantive discussions. Committee desires only to begin its task with least possible delay.

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

1 See Document 384, note 1.

[1.] Since receiving Republican Government's reply [1], Three