191 Department of External Affairs to Critchley

Cablegram 169 CANBERRA, 23 June 1948


Your K.136. [1]

While American instruction is disappointing, there seems no reason why, since general nature of working paper has become public, it should not be discussed in Security Council. We have accordingly asked New York to make the following points at Wednesday's session of the Security Council:-

(a) The Working Paper [2], while no doubt unacceptable in some respects to the Dutch as it stands, nevertheless could provide a sound basis for settlement.

(b) Six months have now passed since signing of Renville Agreement, without any prospect of agreement.

(c) Since Republicans have accepted Working Paper in principle, the onus rests with the Dutch to reveal their own plans to carry out their undertaking to set up a sovereign Indonesia within reasonable period of time and on basis of justice to the Republic.

We have also instructed New York to resist pressure to adjourn Security Council discussions indefinitely since next few weeks may be crucial.

2. We are carefully studying your Working Paper and hope to let you have comments in due course. Meanwhile, we note that the Dutch have agreed to resume negotiations. Committee should retain initiative and, so far as possible, associate itself with negotiations at all stages. This clearly presents best hope of a satisfactory agreement. At the same time, we do not think Committee should disparage bilateral talks between the two parties. In this connection, we have not yet mentioned Republican reaction to Van Mook's proposals to Hatta contained in your K.134.

[3] While these still show evidence of Dutch desire to avoid commitment on terminal date for plebiscite or elections, they appear to us to represent some sign of concession, and we do not think they should be dismissed merely because they have not been submitted through Committee. Glad of your comments.

1 Document 187.

2 Document 173.

3 Document 183.

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