130 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K112 BATAVIA, [12] [1] May 1948

Political Committee met on May 10.

(a) Report of sub committee 4 on procedure for plebiscite or other means for the delineation of states in Java, Sumatra and Madura [2] reveals complete deadlock as set out in first para of my 106.


(b) Interim report of sub committee 2 on outlines of the structure of the Netherlands-Indonesian Union also received. [4] Further discussions are taking place.

(c) Netherlands Delegation extended an invitation on behalf of its Government to the Republican Government to participate in the delegation of the Netherlands for the third conference of the ECAFE. [5] The Republican delegation is communicating this invitation to its government which will certainly refuse. [6]

2. Subsequent discussions with other members of the Committee and advisers have indicated that we may be able to reach agreement on the basis of my proposals (see my telegram 106). Major difficulty is the attitude of American adviser Ogburn who admits openly to strong sympathy with the psychological problems of the Dutch 'because they are giving up so much' and also opposes the Committee taking any initiative which he claims is contrary to its character as a Committee of Good Offices.

3. At today's meeting of Social and Administrative Committee the parties agreed to exchange letters covering their agreement regarding early release of political prisoners.

1 According to a copy on file AA:A1838, 854/10/4/2, v, Cablegram K112 was dispatched from Batavia on the morning of 13 May. The cited copy bears the date 15 May, but the cable was presumably drafted on 12 May, the date of the meeting referred to in paragraph 3. A record of the meeting can be found on file AA:A4357/1, 48/255, vi.

2 This report, dated 5 May, revealed a fundamental disagreement between the Republican and Netherlands Delegations. The Republican Delegation argued that the holding of plebiscites in Republican- held territories would contravene the fourth of the Six Additional Renville Principles (see Document 24). In particular, the Republican Delegation argued that before holding a plebiscite to determine whether the people in Republican territories wished to form pan of the Republic or of 'another state within the United States of Indonesia', it would first be necessary to define what was meant by 'another state'. The Netherlands Delegation argued that plebiscites should be held on both sides of the status quo line.

3 Document 125.

4 Registered on 10 May as S/AC/10/CONF.2/C.1/5.

5 The Netherlands Delegation invited the Republican Government to nominate (and by mutual agreement with the Netherlands Delegation appoint) a candidate as a member of the Delegation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the third session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East in Ootacamund, India. The Netherlands Delegation required that the Republican candidate promote the interests of both the Netherlands and Indonesia as a whole, that he should not act as special representative of the Government of the Republic, and that he would receive instructions from the Netherlands or NEI Government.

6 On 15 May, the Republican Delegation replied that the Government of the Republic would not take put in the conference, except when represented by its own Delegation as an associate member.

[AA:A4357/2, 48/254, iii]