98 Forsyth to Evatt

Submission CANBERRA, 25 June 1947


Dr. Oesman's visit is providing good opportunities for exchange of information and development of informal contacts with the Indonesian Republican administration. From a long-term viewpoint, as well as for the settlement of some immediate matters, it appears desirable to develop this informal inter-change.

2. It will be recalled that Mr. C. H. Campbell's appointment by the Indonesian authorities was never officially recognised by the Australian Government, and Mr. Campbell has now ceased to act as Indonesian representative. [1] Mr. Sjahrir recently indicated that when Mr. Campbell's appointment had terminated, the Indonesian Republic would wish to be represented in Australia by an Indonesian. Dr. Oesman has indicated that while the Republican authorities greatly desire to be represented in Australia, they would have no objection to this representation being on an entirely informal basis, i.e. without official recognition by the Australian Government.

3. There are practical advantages in some such liaison, e.g. Dr.

Oesman has rendered assistance in the negotiations connected with the lifting of the Waterside Workers' ban on Dutch shipping, and he has had useful discussions with the Immigration Department concerning Australian wives of Indonesians.

4. It should be remarked that our own representative in Batavia, though formally accredited to the Dutch, is in fact in close touch, although informally, with the Indonesian authorities. It is submitted that there should be no objection to the appointment by the Republic of a representative in Australia, to maintain informal contact with Australian officials. A draft telegram is attached. [2]

1 Campbell's appointment as temporary Indonesian Trade Commissioner in Australia was revoked by Sjahrir on 30 May.

2 it is not clear whether this submission was considered by Evatt.

The draft cablegram was not approved for dispatch. In an undated minute to Forsyth, Burton commented as follows: 'As a first step Indonesians should be asked to take initiative and suggest method:

Ballard could tell them we would like to maintain contact, informally if not formally, and what do they suggest? Is related to recognition. He might also ask whether representation would be easier with recognition.'

[AA:A1838/283, 401/3/10/7, i]