56 Forsyth to Burton

Cablegram 133 BATAVIA, 14 May 1947, 5.50 p.m.


The Indonesian Foreign Office were very favourable to me making a brief and entirely informal visit to Djokjakarta and wished to arrange this. Ballard and I, on Monday, approached Schuurman and requested the Dutch concur in an informal visit during which nothing official would be done. Schuurman reserved the matter [for] Van Mook's decision and on Tuesday informed us that Van Mook would not agree.

2. The Dutch recently concurred in an informal visit by 2 members of the British Consul[ate]-General. Refusal in my case, therefore, amounts to discrimination. I consider it is also evidence of bad faith, inasmuch as one condition they made for visit of our party here was that the visit to the interior would not be made public through them, i.e., principle of such visits was conceded but is not now implemented.

3. In discussing the request on the occasion mentioned, Schuurman doubted that permission would be granted, stating Netherlands East Indies Government intended to establish a liaison office in Djokjakarta and did not envisage visits by the foreign officials until then. However, the proposed liaison office was first mentioned to Ballard towards the end of March and we are informed by the Indonesian Foreign Office that in 7 weeks since then the Dutch have done nothing to establish it.

4. The facts in paragraph 2 seem to me to call for a protest to the Dutch in Canberra, but this should be deferred until any danger prejudicing the present talks on shipping ban is passed.

[AA:A1838/278, 401/1/3/2, ii]