204 Eaton to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 159 BATAVIA, 5 July 1948, 4.10 p.m.


The General Representative of the Provisional Federal Government at the Federal Conference at Bandoeng [1] made the following statement on behalf of the Netherlands Government on 3rd July:

'The alteration of the constitution which has already been accepted in its first reading will, as soon as it has been effected, open up the possibility of bringing about further reforms on a legal basis, in particular by applying the new Article 209. [2] The Netherlands' Government will then immediately take up further adaptation of the political organization of Indonesia to the circumstances existing during the interim period.

This political organization will have to aim at preparing and helping to prepare in the most energetic and effective way the formation of the United States of Indonesia and the Netherlands- Indonesian Union. Its specific task will be to maintain and, where necessary, restore law and order, to organize Federal services, to promote economic reconstrucion, to re-organize finance, to co- operate in the further formation and organization of the Member States and to prepare elections which will be necessary for the convening of the Constituent Assembly.

The Government regrets that in the negotiations with the Government of the Republic no sufficiently satisfactory results have as yet been reached to undertake this task in full co- operation with the Republic as well, but it is convinced that the reforms referred to above can considerably contribute to the further political development.

The principal object will be to form a government which is to consist of capable and authoritative Indonesians from different Member States and, as far as necessary, Netherlanders or citizens of other nationalities. This government, which is intended to be collegiate, is to administer Maily, [3] the internal affairs special competencies for the time being having to be reserved for the Lieutenant Governor-General as head of this Government in connection with the relations with the Netherlands and foreign countries, guaranteeing the fundamental rights and in general considering the responsibility of the Netherlands Government. in addition a provisional representative body will have to be created which guarantees, in the best possible way, the co-operation with the various Member States and other political organizations and with the minorities, the provisional Federal Government being able to consult this body continuously.

In organizing the Federal services and organs special attention will have to be given to the Federal Fighting Forces, the representation in the Netherlands (High Commissioner), and the preparations for the foreign service side by side with the normal organization for internal Federal activities.

Also in regard to the existing division of competencies between the General Government and the Supreme Government, alterations in keeping with the development will have to be made. The provisional Federal Government and the Bandung Conference when convened after its recess will, of course, be consulted concerning a Bill to be drawn up to this effect.

It goes without saying that in all this participation of the whole of Indonesia in this new organization remains the unaltered aim of the Government.'

The Federal Conference adjourned on July 3rd until August 17th 'because of Mohammedan fasting period'.

1 R.W. van Diffelen.

2 The proposed new Article 209 of the Netherlands Constitution stated that further reforms of the constitutional relationship between the Netherlands and Indonesia required a two-thirds majority in both Houses of the States-General. 3 'Maily' should presumably read 'mainly'.

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