475 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K20 BATAVIA, 17 December 1947, 6 p.m.


Your telegram [I]9. [1]

After long discussions with Graham last night and this morning, I eventually managed to obtain his agreement to forwarding the full text of the last truce plan [2] to the Council and he arranged a special committee meeting this morning for that purpose. Herremans was opposed but did not finally commit himself. Unfortunately immediately prior to the meeting Scott and Ogburn got hold of Graham and changed his mind. Their arguments were that (a) Publication now would give the Dutch ammunition on procedural grounds for delaying and possibly defeating the plan.

(b) This argument was, largely based on the fact that the Committee had only forwarded last night elucidation of the plan on a number of points queried by the Dutch. My immediately following telegram [3] gives the text of our explanations. Delay was due to our only receiving the Dutch request on 12th December.

(c) It would be a mistake to forward the plan at this stage when in a short time it should be possible to complete a detailed and effective report on the Committee's activities with regard to the cease fire.

(d) In view of the foregoing the Committee's best course would be to prepare a good effective report and to present it at the end of the month.

2. As these were in substance the arguments defended by Graham earlier, I found it impossible to swing round. The best I could achieve was that (a) The Committee should appoint a drafting committee to prepare immediately a report of the Committee's activities to date.

(b) A telegram should be sent today advising the Security Council that the report would be available in a few days and that the Committee hoped to telegraph it on Monday.

(c) The parties should be advised of the intention to report.

3. On the basis of these decisions which were confirmed in the Committee, I hope it will be possible to prolong discussion of the Indonesian dispute or postpone it until next week or arrange a discussion in the Council as soon as the report is received.

4. If none of these courses is practicable it would still be open to us to present unilaterally the appropriate papers to the Council. However in the event of our doing this, I fear that we would be certain to lose important American support and I presume that you would give me an opportunity to announce our intention in Committee.

5. The report will be telegraphed en clair and will doubtless become public as soon as discussed in the Council. I have mentioned in the Committee the possible desirability of the Committee publishing the truce plan if and as soon as I can win support.

6. Thanks for your telegram 394. [4]

1 Document 470.

2 Document 449.

3 Document 476.

4 Dispatched on 15 December, it advised that Kirby would return to Batavia in two or three weeks.

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