488 Critchley to Kirby and Burton

Cablegram K28 BATAVIA, 25 December 1947, 11.53 a.m.


Thanks for your telegram I.10. [1] I passed on the message in the last paragraph to Sjarifoeddin who was pleased to get it.

2. After vigorous debates in Committee it was agreed that we should endeavour to prepare a paper which would incorporate and compromise the views of individual members. This paper has now been prepared as a message to the parties on the following lines- (1) A serious and strong reminder relative to the responsibility of the Committee of Good Offices and parties concerned; the latter have, and must keep, the primary responsibility both for decisions and failure to take decisions.

(2) The Committee's solemn warning to the parties reminding them of the spirit and letter of the resolution of the Security Council [2], emphasizing the danger of long delay.

(3) Recommendation to the parties:

(a) To sign immediately and implement the points contained in our documents relating to immediate cessation of hostilities. (b) To sign within a few days and implement immediately a truce agreement combining documents prepared and before the Committee and suggestions set out in Annex 1 attached.

(4) The suggestion that once these measures are taken both parties approach substantive discussions in a new spirit of immediate cooperation, both stating clearly and immediately in most moderate forms their present views concerning a possible settlement of political dispute in Indonesia with particular reference to elaborating the following principles of Linggadjati:

(a) Independence of Indonesian people.

(b) Cooperation between peoples of the Netherlands and Indonesia.

(c) A federal sovereign state under constitution to be arrived at by democratic process.

(d) A union between the United States of Indonesia and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

(5) Suggestion in Annex 2 of a programme of principles which the Committee believe should be included in a just and lasting settlement.

3. The suggestions of Annex 1 and Annex 2 are particularly important and are set out in my telegrams K.29 and K.30. [3]

4. I believe that it will be possible to reach unanimity in the Committee on this paper. My agreement would be based on the following:.

(1) At this stage of the crisis a division in the Committee would give the Dutch an opportunity of winning out by delays both in the Council and in Indonesia. A united and firm stand by the Committee particularly when one of the members has international prestige of Van Zeeland should have a very great effect on the Dutch, world opinion and the Security Council.

(2) The proposals which we are now drafting are much stronger than I would have thought possible with retention of unanimity.

Concessions made by Van Zeeland are very great indeed.

(3) Admittedly the general acceptance of the Van Mook line is a handful to take but it does not go to the limit authorised in your telegram I.10. The exceptions in paragraph 2 of Annex 1 cover the more important areas to the Republic. Moreover, it seems but a temporary truce based on positions now and, supported by a strong statement of principles, appears the best opportunity for the Dutch withdrawals.

(4) I have discussed the proposals with Sjarifoeddin who has raised no objections.

(5) I do not believe for one moment that the Netherlands will accept our proposals. If we can go to Security Council with unanimous reasonable proposals turned down by one side only, our position will be as strong as we can make it and provide every opportunity for our representative making appropriate recommendations which will empower the Committee to enforce a truce.

(6) I have Graham's concurrence that the paper should be publicised as early as possible and this will mean that the Republic will gain the best possible advantage from the strong statement of principles in our Annex 2. Such a statement will obviously increase Dutch political difficulties in the Islands.

5. The proposal is to submit our suggestions informally to the parties in the first instance and seek their early agreement. In the case of the Netherlands we would also endeavour to discuss the matter informally with the visiting Ministers including the Prime Minister, Beel. I believe that the Republican Cabinet will consider the suggestions on Saturday.

6. My efforts to speed the report to the Security Council have achieved:

(1) Release to the press on Tuesday evening of the text of the truce plan and the text of the memoranda submitted to the Committee by Special Committees of the parties expressing their viewpoints on the plan;

(2) Preparation of full and factual draft interim report which will be considered by the Committee tomorrow or the next day. I have been unsuccessful, however, in ensuring the cabling of a summary of the report to the Security Council. The other members of the Committee are reluctant and developments outlined in this telegram have affected the position. I shall, of course, continue to endeavour to have a summary cabled on Friday. Since the truce plan of the Committee and the replies of the two parties have been published this may at least partly meet our requirements.

7. I have talked to Neher who will probably stay on in Indonesia after the other Dutch Ministers return and who is supposed to be liberal. I can only say from my questions he is not.

1 Document 484.

2 i.e. the resolution of 1 November (see Document 402).

3 Documents 489 and 490.

[AA:A1838/283, 403/3/1/1, xiv]