44 Officer to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram Hag 66 THE HAGUE, 23 April 1947, 1.15 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Your telegrams 46 [1] and 47. [2]

I had been asked prior to their receipt to call at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last evening and was informed of the granting of the two visas and that- (a) the Netherlands Government have noted with satisfaction that it will be the policy of the Australian Government to do everything in their power to avoid embarrassment to the N.E.I.

Government and are confident that the two officials will be duly instructed to that effect.

(b) it is understood that until further notice all contact with the Indonesian Republic will be made through the intermediary of the appropriate Netherlands authorities, this principle having already been recognized by other Governments.

(c) journeys into the interior are not to be undertaken without due and previous authorization by the Netherlands authorities.

(d) the Netherlands Government wish to stress that the mission of the two Australian officials cannot be interpreted in any way as a trade mission but simply as an assignment to the Australian Consulate-General in Batavia.

2. I then asked for the granting of the two additional visas and stressed the need for their presence in Batavia. Van Vredenburch at first said it was impossible on the ground that they were not allowing finance attaches to British and American Consulates- General. I urged special need for the presence of a Treasury expert and for Forsyth to consult with Ballard and that Foreign Office and State Department advisers and officials had paid similar visits. Van Vredenburch agreed to take the question up. I shall press him again before the end of the week.

3. I then spoke in the terms of paragraphs 3 and 6 of your telegram 46 of the importance of immediate and frank discussions.

Van Vredenburch agreed, but said that so long as the Dutch/Indonesian economic talks are proceeding, lack of personnel and doubt as to the future position might make progress slow. He undertook to urge Batavia to co-operate to the utmost.

4. As regards paragraph 5 of your telegram 46 Van Vredenburch stated that the Dutch proposed to appoint Indonesians to e.g.

Canberra as soon as suitable personnel were available and arrangements made.

1 Document 41.

2 Dispatched on 22 April, it mistakenly advised that visas had been issued for Carne and Hetherington (in fact they were not issued until 26 April) and directed the Legation in The Hague to make every endeavour to obtain visas for Richardson and Forsyth.

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