411 Kirby to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 398 BATAVIA, 7 November 1947

My telegram 397. [1] Following is text of press release.

The Committee has always been mindful of the importance of the speediest possible agreement between the parties as to a meeting place for substantive discussions. At the same time, it was obvious that many difficulties would confront the parties in reaching such an agreement. In these circumstances, the Committee exercised its good offices by having both formal and informal discussions with the parties on this subject both in Batavia and Djokjakarta with as little delay as possible. The parties accepted these good offices in a spirit of real co-operation and, whilst a dead-lock was reached as to a meeting place on land, both parties indicated in informal talks that, if the Committee could provide a ship as a meeting place, their difficulties might be solved.

The Committee then gave very serious consideration to a ship as a meeting place and finally decided to ascertain from the parties formally whether they would both agree to a meeting on a ship if one were provided by the Committee. This decision by the Committee was the only possible way of breaking a dead-lock between the parties since one party [2] could not agree to a meeting place on land outside but near Indonesia and the other [3] could not agree to meeting anywhere in Indonesia. In addition, the Committee took into account the fact that the Security Council's resolution of the 1st November 1947 requires that the Committee should remain in frequent contact with the Consular Commission and its military aides.

The parties have now both formally indicated that they will accept a ship procured through the auspices of the Committee as a meeting place for the substantive discussions and the Committee is taking steps to have such a ship made available to it as soon as possible.

In view of the manner in which the Committee was originally formed, the Belgian and Australian representatives have asked the American representative if he would ascertain whether his Government could provide a suitable ship to the Committee. Dr.

Graham acceded to this request after Dr. van Zeeland and Mr.

Justice Kirby urged that this was the only means of avoiding a dead-lock which might well prevent the Committee's functioning at all.

1 Document 410.

2 The Netherlands.

3 The Republic of Indonesia.

[AA:A4357/2, 48/254, i]