79 Addison to Australian Government

Cablegram D511 LONDON, 9 June 1947, 11 p.m.


My telegram 5th June D NO. 499. [1]


The United Kingdom Consul-General, Batavia, visited Djokjakarta on June 7th and had extremely friendly and apparently successful secret interview with Dr. Soekarno at which Dr. Sjahrir was also present.

2. The United States State Department have sent instructions to the United States Consul-General, Batavia, to take similar but not simultaneous action and the United States Consul-General will doubtless visit Djokjakarta. The State Department have agreed with us that no publicity shall be given to either of these visits.

3. The United Kingdom Consul-General spoke to Dr. Soekarno on the lines indicated in Paragraph 3 of my telegram D NO. 499 and added further remarks on the world economic aspect of the situation in Indonesia which we think may not be fully realised in the remote atmosphere of Djokjakarta. He pointed out to Dr. Soekarno that delay in reaching agreement was preventing the economic recovery of Indonesia and impeding the flow of vital commodities of which the world stands so sorely in need; the Indonesians had from time to time admitted that their communications were chaotic and transport lacking and no doubt it was largely because of this that they had only delivered a fraction of the rice promised to India.

The economy of Indonesia could not be re-established to its own benefit or to that of the outside world without political stability and the Indonesians would certainly not wish to appear to be responsible for any unnecessary delay in reaching settlement.

4. Dr. Soekarno said he welcomed this advice and the frank and informal manner in which it was conveyed. He had always felt that the British Government and people while maintaining loyal friendship with the Dutch were deeply sympathetic to the Republican movement. He assured the Consul-General that his reply to the Dutch would be conciliatory and positive. He stated that he was inclined to decide that the proposals (outlined in my telegram D No. 492 [2]) as a whole should be accepted in principle. But he thought that on some points discussion and/or clarification seemed desirable, e.g. Military co-operation and Foreign Representation (which Sjahrir believed should soon be on an All-Indonesia Federal basis independent of, but cooperating with the Dutch Foreign Service). The principle cause of Indonesian hesitation, Soekarno said was the distrust of Dutch reactionaries and Military officers and the fear that these elements would regard the agreement as a sign of weakness and spring a Military coup. Sjahrir said that the Dutch statement and actions were not always in line and he instanced the Sundanese Separation Movement (my telegram D No. 466 Paragraph 8(A) [3]) which he said was disavowed by Van Mook but undoubtedly supported by the Dutch Army.

5. According to information received from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at The Hague the Commissioners-General who left Batavia for Holland on May 25th to report to their Government were due to return to Batavia on June 8th in order to be on the spot when the Indonesian reply to the proposals is received.

6. The Dutch Ambassador in London has been informed of the general sense of the instructions sent to the United Kingdom Consul- General, Batavia, and the opportunity has been taken to emphasise to him again (see Paragraph 1 of my telegram D No.468 [4]) the deplorable effect which a breakdown of negotiations and any resort to force by the Dutch would have in this country.

1 Document 77.

2 See Document 77, note 1.

3 Dispatched on 23 May, it reviewed Dutch-Indonesian exchanges on the implementation of the Linggadjati Agreement and the general situation in the NEI. Paragraph 8(A) advised that Sundanese separatists had set up headquarters in Bandung and proclaimed the independence of West Java.

4 Dispatched on 23 May. Paragraph 1 advised that in view of the great political and economic importance of avoiding armed between the Dutch and the Indonesians, the United Kingdom Prime Minister had seen the Dutch Ambassador in London and 'left him in no doubt of adverse reactions in this country in the event of Dutch discarding policy of negotiation and resorting to military force against Indonesians'. Paragraph 2 further advised that the United Kingdom Ambassador in Washington had been instructed to inform the United States Government of the Prime Minister's remarks.

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