67 Department of External Affairs to Ballard

Cablegram 127 CANBERRA, 24 May 1947, 9.15 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE SECRET

Your 154. [1]

1. Message as at present drafted would not lead to most satisfactory results. Please take immediate steps to ensure no publicity and that it is not received as message but merely as draft.

2. Position is that there has not been for long time agreement between Dutch and Indonesians on distribution of goods in Australia. Agreement resulting from our initiative has made possible joint message to Australian Government asking it to take whatever steps it thinks proper to facilitate the resumption of trade. In these circumstances it is inappropriate to refer to ban.

This step is first in direction of general resumption of trade between Indonesia and Australia and message should hold out hope of return shipments. Following telegram contains outline of redraft message best calculated to effect the purposes both Dutch and Indonesians desire. [2] The absence of reference to ban and inclusion of at least some reference to shipment of goods for example native produce from Indonesia are both essential to message if it is to be acceptable and successful.

1 Document 66.

2 In the proposed redraft message (contained in cablegram 128 to Ballard), the Governments of the NEI and the Republic of Indonesia were to request jointly the good offices of the Australian Government to secure the immediate shipment of goods owned by the Government of the NEI held in Australia and to express further their 'desire to take every step in their power to bring about the immediate resumption of trade between Indonesia and Australia, and hope that ships carrying goods at present in Australia will return with at least some goods for Australia'.

[AA:A1838/283, 401/3/2, iii]