4 Department of External Affairs to Kirby Cablegram 114 CANBERRA, 3 January 1948


Your K.33.

Invitation was stimulated by no other desire than to extend a sincere and friendly invitation to the Prime Minister of a country with which Australia has always maintained the closest relations, in particular, in work with the United Nations. At San Francisco, at Paris, and at Assembly meetings, Netherlands representatives have always worked closely with us. The hope was that a visit by Beel, because of this background, would have enabled us to discuss the Indonesian problem in the broadest way and arrive at a better understanding of the points of view of each government. It is a matter of great regret that the invitation was not accepted, apparently not for time reasons, but for some political reasons.


2. With respect to paragraph 6, there was no statement or announcement here, except one forced upon the Minister by the fact that Dutch sources had quoted the invitation. In commenting, the Minister told the press that he hoped it would be accepted, but, as yet, there had been no reply.

3. Apparently the decision regarding Beel has been taken largely on the advice of Batavia officials, who would regard a friendly visit here as being, in effect, a reflection on the attitude they have adopted. [2] In fact, the visit could have done nothing but good both at The Hague and at Batavia.

4. Your paragraph 3. Police action would seem quite out of the question. The policy is to set up a United States of Indonesia as soon as possible, even though this is done without the inclusion of the Republic. The military occupation and economic control is sufficiently effective to make police action unnecessary and, if they are using police action as a threat, it is more in the nature of a bargaining procedure.

1 Cablegram 4, dispatched from Batavia on 3 January, informed the Department of External Affairs that Beel had declined the Australian Government's invitation.

2 In Ministerial Dispatch 13/1947 of 31 December 1947, Eaton informed Evatt that, while Beel seemed pleased to receive the Australian Government's invitation, Van Vredenburch was against the visit.

[AA:A1838, 403/3/1/1 xiv]