200 Eaton to Burton

Departmental Dispatch 21/1948 BATAVIA, 1 July 1948

SECRET

GENERAL POLITICAL SITUATION

With the trend of this week's events the Netherlands authorities have shown their hand more clearly to the outside world and it is now obvious that they will endeavour to only negotiate with the Republic on their own terms and now that the truce agreement has been implemented under the auspices of the Committee of Good Offices that body is no longer required or wanted in Indonesia by the Dutch.

2. It appears necessary that the Committee of Good Offices is urgently and considerably supported by the United Nations otherwise the future course of events to be taken by the Dutch seems clear. Token talks will be continued until the elections in Holland after which a settlement will be forced on Indonesia according to the political factions in power and without the auspices of the Committee of Good Offices.

3. The present Government in Holland more or less supports Dr. van Mook and if this Government is returned to power I consider Van Mook will receive support to pursue to the utmost his plan of endeavouring to make an agreement with the Republic to join a Federation of Indonesian States under present Dutch control and with a definite union with Holland.

4. Van Vredenburch and his faction's attitude has hardened further against the Republic and very little compromise can be expected if Vredenburch is given his way and in this case the Republic would be faced with take it or leave it terms and according to future politics of Holland be either forced into submission or economically strangled. Vredenburch has again left Batavia for Holland for fresh instructions and during his absence his position as Vice and Acting Chairman of the Netherlands delegation is to be taken by Mr. Elink Schuurman the present Head of the Far Eastern Office. Schuurman is completely behind Vredenburch and this temporary appointment will ensure that his policy is not easily by-passed. The Chairman of the Netherlands delegation Raden Abdulkadir is still somewhere well in the background.

5. A considerable amount of unrest has recently broken out in Dutch-controlled territory of Java. Train derailments and shootings have occurred and this is being played as 'communistic influences which must be ruthlessly eliminated', and will probably be brought before the Security Council in strong terms to gain sympathy for future Dutch free action policy to settle the Indonesian dispute in their own way. My firm opinion is, that if no just settlement is reached at an early date, unrest will continue and even increase on account of the nationalistic fervour of the population. This opinion is also shared by many out-back planters who are very worried and particularly fear the results of any resort to further police action by the Dutch.

6. I consider that the recent visit to Indonesia by nine Dutch politicians [1] may bring useful results to the present Dutch Government. The N.E.I. authorities have given them every opportunity to get the picture here and three of the politicians visited Republican territory. Professor Romme the leader of the Catholic parliamentary faction issued an interesting statement, which is attached herewith [2], before he left for Holland.

7. Very little news is published or heard of the Bandoeng conference. I understand the N.E.I. authorities are not pleased with the results so far obtained.

8. The Republican attitude is still one of great faith in the Committee of Good Offices and the Security Council and even present events have not lessened this attitude one bit. The Republicans cannot understand how Holland can oppose such a body as the United Nations or that the United Nations Organization will forego its stated requirements for a just and peaceful solution by negotiation under the Committee of Good Offices. Should this actually happen a grave reaction throughout the East against America and England in particular will be the future result.

1 See note 4 to Document 183.

2 Not published.

[AA:A4231/2, 1948 BATAVIA]