94 Ballard to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 187 BATAVIA, 20 June 1947, 1.10 p.m.

IMPORTANT SECRET

Your tele 153. [1] Message has been conveyed and I have now discussed it with Schuurman and Van Hoogstraten on the Dutch side.

2. They assumed that the message meant that the ban had been removed in its entirety and were pleased at this as their private reports received so far had left them in some doubt of the extent of the removal.

3. Van Hoogstraten said the Tjibesar was in Australia and could be used for the first shipment of goods.

4. Allocation of goods between the Dutch and Indonesians had not been completed but textiles desired by them could be included in the first shipment. He suggested that Van der Noordaa, Netherlands Trade Commissioner, who would be directing movement, could most conveniently inform you of detailed arrangements contemplated in Australian ports for forwarding the goods.

5. Pursuant to agreement, goods would not be made available to the Indonesians until the rice they are under obligation to supply is available. The Indonesian Minister in charge of rice had told him there was great difficulty in transporting it to ports from the interior. The same difficulty had occurred in connection with the export of rice to India. Whether the first ship from Australia went to a Dutch or Indonesian Port thus depended on actual availability of rice. If however the first ship came to a Dutch port the goods intended for the Indonesians would be earmarked and held for them. At this stage Schuurman mentioned the Dutch attitude that lifting of the ban so far as they were concerned must be unconditional, i.e. though they had an agreement with the Indonesians they could not accept the imposition of conditions by a third party such as the waterside workers.

6. Concerning return cargoes from Indonesians Van Hoogstraten pointed out that sisal and tea were estate not native products. If native produce was available at Republic ports he could probably help in formalities of clearance at port of loading by making one of his officers available on the ship.

7. So far as estate products are concerned resumption of export of these depends upon the outcome of current negotiations.

8. Report on discussions with the Indonesian side will follow as soon as possible.

1 Document 89.

[AA:A1838/283, 401/3/10/8, i]