175 Eaton to Burton

Departmental Dispatch 19/1948 BATAVIA, 11 June 1948

SECRET

GENERAL POLITICAL SITUATION

Recently the chief topic in political circles in Indonesia has been the reported agreement of consular relations between the Soviet and the Republic. [1] The communist bug was made the most of by the Dutch and scathing attacks on the Republic have been made by the press and radio, this is well typified by a recent press cartoon depicting the Republic as a marionette being juggled by Stalin before the Committee of Good Offices.

2. The supposed threat of further police action and the Republic's reaction, in the statements by Dr. Hatta 'The Republican will fight for years and years' and General Sudirman 'The Republican army will be mobilised', has been used to the utmost as anti- Republican propaganda and has also brought a statement from At.

H.L.R. Vredenburch that further Dutch military action was wishful thinking on the part of the Republic in order to gain world sympathies. Dr. van Mook a few days ago told the British Consul- General that the Netherlands authorities had not even thought of further police action.

3. During a talk with Mr. Macmahon Ball, the French Consul- General, M. Raux, said that the best way to clear up the conflict between the Dutch and the Republic would be for the Dutch to take further police action and this is probably the French Government's view, it is certainly not Raux's personal opinion and it is significant that this month Raux is leaving Batavia on posting to the French Foreign Office.

4. The present Dutch standpoint seems not to either compromise or break off negotiations with the Republic until after the elections in Holland at the end of this month. The Catholic and Labour parties are hoping by this method to woo doubtful members and members of other parties to support the proposed change in the Dutch constitution and avoid the dilemma Holland would be placed in if this measure was not passed. For this reason too Dr. van Mook, the Lt. Governor General, may be taking a long shot, in arranging a personal meeting with Dr. Hatta to take place next week, to come to a quick 'suitable to Holland' agreement direct with the Republic.

5. A number of Dutch politicians including Professor Romme who is the parliamentary leader of the Roman Catholic faction in Holland are due at an early date in Batavia at the invitation of the Lt.

Governor General. This group will be put into close touch with all Indonesian Representatives attending the Bandoeng Conference. [2]

6. President Sukarno's visit to Sumatra for one month at this rather critical time is interesting and in some Republican quarters the reason given is to leave the field completely open to Dr. Hatta to possibly form a new cabinet which is to include Sutan Sjahrir, Sjarifuddin and Setiadjit.

1 See Document 149.

2 See note 4 to Document 183.

[AA:A4231/2, 1948 BATAVIA]