467 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K17 BATAVIA, 15 December 1947, 2.02 p.m.


Having prepared the way with Graham, I propose to submit to the Committee a paper suggesting the United States-Philippine model as a basis for settlement. [1] The proposal will be presented as a working paper; not in expectation that it will be accepted but rather so as to enable me to compromise and build up our position.

I presume that your views remain the same and you have no objections but I should be glad to know if you would like the parties to know of the plan irrespective of any Committee decision.

2. Scott has informed me confidentially- (a) That Graham has only one instruction-to bring back an agreement.

(b) That his own instructions are to endeavour to base agreement on Linggadjati on which he says the State Department is sold.

3. The United States have at last realized that insistence on unanimity will only bring delay and stalemate in the Committee.

They have agreed to do everything they can to get the Netherlands acceptance of the truce plan [2] within a week to ten days.

Failing this they will support us in majority vote if necessary on interpretation of the 1st November resolution. I have put on record our revised paper [on] interpretation [3] and have stated that I will move for a vote on this if the Dutch fail to accept the truce plan within a reasonable period. Nevertheless as suggested by 2(a) above the Americans are still most anxious to avoid any reference back to the Security Council.

1 Document 468.

2 Document 449.

3 Tabled at a meeting of the Committee of Good Offices on 13 December, the Australian paper (S/AC.10/61) put forward definitions of the terms contained in the penultimate paragraph of the Security Council's resolution of 1 November (see Document 402). The term 'hostile action' was defined to be 'any movement of the armed forces of one party in any direction, which movement might reasonably be expected to provoke retaliatory action by the other party'. The words 'controlled' and 'occupied' in the expression 'extends its control over territory not occupied' were considered to have the same meaning for the purposes of the resolution. With regard to the meaning of 'territory not occupied', the paper put forward the definition that 'territory controlled or occupied' was territory in which orders from headquarters could be executed without recourse to 'hostile action' and that, in interpreting the phrase 'territory not occupied', regard could only be had to the situation on 4 August and not to any military operation after that date. In the light of such definitions, it was suggested that the Committee of Good Offices ask each party whether, without prejudice to its rights, claims or position, it was prepared to withdraw its forces immediately to territory which was 'occupied' by it on 4 August.

[AA:A1838/274, 854/10/4/2, ii]