425 Critchley to Burton

Cablegram 422 BATAVIA, 19 November 1947


Yesterday at Djokjakarta [1] a number of Republicans, including Sjarifoeddin and Setiadjit, expressed concern lest Kirby be recalled at end of month. (They referred to Prime Minister's statement.) [2]

2. I am aware of difficulties and also know you appreciate Kirby's personal prestige with the Indonesians and the loss of confidence in Australia that would be likely to follow his withdrawal.

3. Until yesterday, however, I would have underestimated the seriousness of the probable repercussions. I therefore feel I should pass this information on independently of Kirby.

1 Kirby and Critchley visited Djokjakarta on 17-18 November (see Document 420, note 5). Part of their discussions with Sjarifuddin and Setiadjit is recorded in Document 429.

2 In answer to a question in the House of Representatives on 13 November, Chifley expressed the hope that the work of the Committee of Good Offices would be concluded by the end of November so that Kirby would be able to take up duty as chairman of the Stevedoring industry Commission.

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