103 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K91 BATAVIA, 14 March 1948, 1 a.m.

IMPORTANT SECRET

Hatta has had long informal discussions with Van Mook yesterday, March 12th, and this morning. Van Mook raised precisely same issues as were discussed in June last year i.e. sovereignty, foreign affairs, uniform currency, trade, foreign exchange and the army. On most of these issues Van Mook made proposals which followed closely proposals of last year. He will submit papers for discussion between delegations. With regard to army he proposed informal talks between respective Generals.

2. Van Mook proposes that Republic promote an interim Government to be set up under his emergency powers in much the same way as provisional Government was appointed last Tuesday. Hatta considers appointment of provisional Government a stratagem on Van Mook's part to introduce idea of an interim Government, but there is nothing to justify hope that the interim Government which will be proposed by Republic will differ fundamentally from present Netherlands East Indies Government though Hatta raised the question of freedom of speech. Van Mook's comment was that there was too much unrest at present.

Netherlands were thinking so that he could appropriately instruct his delegation for forthcoming talks. Representatives of both parties have now been appointed to all main committees and talks will begin next week.

[4]. As far as I can gather the informal talks have introduced no new elements into the situation.

[AA:A1838, 403/3/111, xvi]

[3]. The purpose of talks was apparently to inform Hatta of way