176 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K131 BATAVIA, 14 June 1948, 6.10 p.m.


On Thursday, Dubois handed Van Mook in Batavia a copy of the joint Australian United States working paper [1] for an overall settlement (see my telegram K.130 [2]).

According to Dubois, Van Mook was at first aggressive then reproachful and reviewed the presentation of the plan at this stage as a stab in the back.

2. Dubois was subsequently in touch by telephone with the State Department, which though disappointed that the plan had not been accepted by the Committee as a whole [supported his action to date]. [3] Dubois indicated that he had claimed full responsibility for our plan to avoid criticism that he had merely followed an Australian lead. He hinted that he may shortly be recalled for consultation.

3. Roem saw Van Mook after Dubois, this time in the presence of Vredenburch and Neher, and presented the Republican reply to the Dutch aide memoire on foreign relations [4] and Hatta's reply to Van Mook's invitation to an informal talk. [5] His reception was not favourable. The reply to the aide memoire was regarded as unsatisfactory and Vredenburch was anxious to learn who had had a hand in its preparation. Vredenburch was also annoyed that Hatta would only agree to see Van Mook personally. Neher mentioned the paper Dubois had just delivered and said that the Dutch were not going to be pushed around by other countries (mentioning Australia, United States and India). They had a plan of their own for the Indies which they intended to put into effect.

4. The presentation of our paper and Hatta's reply regarding informal talks may hinder Van Mook's plan to put pressure on the Republic by offering Hatta eight out of fifteen seats in an interim Federal Government with, however, no guarantees as to the powers of such Government. Van Mook has not yet made any further reply regarding the talks but he can hardly ignore Hatta's offer and a meeting may take place about June 16th.

5. The Dutch tactics now will be to delay further and avoid consideration of our plan, and it will be essential for the Committee to retain its hardly won initiative. In the coming week or so our efforts will be directed to:

(a) Shaping the third interim report so as to convey the position clearly to the Security Council.

(b) Persuading the Republic to officially approve our plan in principle.

1 Document 173.

2 Document 171.

3 The words in square brackets have been inserted from a copy on file AA:A4357/2, 48/254, iii.

4 On 10 June Roem handed to Van Mook the Republican reply, registered as S/AC.10/S.8/add.1, to the Netherlands aide-memoire of 3 June on the Republic's foreign relations (see Document 163).

The substance of the Republic's reply was that, if Suripno had established relations with the USSR, his action was based on a general mandate of the Government of the Republic, issued before the Renville Agreement, to seek relations with countries in central and eastern Europe; that the Republic had no information about the actions if Suripno, who had been recalled for consultation; that the purported agreement between the Soviet Union and the Republic did not in any case breach the first Additional Renville Principle (see Document 24); and that, until a political agreement between the Netherlands and the Republic was reached, the Republic was not prepared to bind itself to take any action prejudicial to its interests in connection with either its foreign 5 On 8 June, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia announced that Hatta accepted Van Mook's invitation to come to Batavia for informal talks.

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