158 Department of External Affairs to Officer

Cablegram 48 CANBERRA, 3 June 1948, 2 p.m.

We understand from our delegate to ECAFE conference at Ootacamund that Netherlands Delegation are sponsoring Indonesia as a whole for associate membership with two seats on the Delegation for the Republic if they desire. Republican Delegation will not accept Netherlands sponsorship, but will apply for associate membership sponsored by India.

2. Our original instruction to our delegate was that he should support admission of Republican Delegation as observers, but that we did not think the Republic could properly qualify for the associate membership. In view, however, of our delegate's latest report, we have after careful consideration instructed him to support Republic for provisional associate membership on the ground that Australia has given de facto recognition to the Republic and that nothing in the Renville Agreement can alter the position until the principles of the Agreement have been translated into a final settlement. [1] We consider that until final agreement is reached in which Republic's authority is incorporated in wider government or government for the Republican area is otherwise provided for and Republican interests thereby represented, Republic will continue to have de facto authority. As such it should take its separate place as a de facto authority on any international body dealing with matters of direct concern to it.

3. Procedural difficulty may arise because according to terms of reference of ECAFE a Government in juridical position of Republic requires sponsorship for associate membership by the government responsible for conduct of its foreign affairs, in this case Netherlands Government. In order, if possible, to avoid protracted procedural argument, we have instructed our delegate to explore possibility of having Republican Government admitted to associate membership for this session only, which would duly recognise existing situation without prejudice to changes which may take place if settlement is reached between Netherlands and Republican Governments. [1]

4. Foregoing is for background if issue is raised with you by Netherlands authorities.

1 See Documents 154 and 155.

[AA:A3196, 1948, 0.7794]