211 Eaton to Burton

Departmental Dispatch 23/1948 BATAVIA, 22 July 1948

SECRET

GENERAL POLITICAL SITUATION

Reference: Consulate-General Telegram No.179 dated 16th July [1], Consulate-General Telegram No.182 dated 22nd July. [2]

Since my last despatch [3] negotiations between the Dutch and the Republicans under the auspices of the Committee of Good Offices have virtually been at a standstill and political interest transferred to the Bandoeng Conference.

2. It has been reported to the Department that the Bandoeng Conference was really sponsored by the Dutch to sponsor a Dutch plan for a Federated Indonesian Government and Union with Holland.

The Conference has now created an unforseen development in that the Indonesians from the various created states have themselves put forward their own plan for an Interim Federal Government to include the Republic on terms which is said to have the unofficial agreement of at least some Republicans. The picture is not completely clear and details of the new proposals are not known.

They will be studied and considered by the Provisional Federal Government on the 26th July after which they will be sent to Jogja for consideration by the Republicans.

3. During my recent visit to East Indonesia and while at Makassar I stayed with the Dutch Commissioner Mr. Manderlaar and had the opportunity of paying courtesy visits to the President and Prime Minister of East Indonesia.

4. President Sukawati told me in general conversation that he was afraid of the communistic element in the Republic and that whatever happened in regard to the Dutch-Republican dispute, independence for the rest of Indonesia must be gone on with and achieved by 1/1/1949. He also said that the distrust between the Dutch and Republicans was a grave factor. At the time I saw the President he was anxiously awaiting the return of his Prime Minister from the Bandoeng Conference in respect of which he placed the highest hopes.

5. Prime Minister Anak Agoeng I saw after his return to Makassar from Bandoeng. He is a most interesting, capable and well thought of man who undoubtedly has a big future in Indonesian politics.

Anak Agoeng also told me that independence must be achieved by 1/1/1949 and that the work ahead to accomplish this was terrific.

As regards the Republic he said the problem had now become an Indonesian one which should and could be settled by themselves and also brought forward the point of the distrust between the Dutch and Republicans. He did not tell me of the latest settlement proposals from Bandoeng and that such proposals had been made I heard later from the East Indonesian Secretary of State for Home Affairs who accompanied the Prime Minister at Bandoeng.

6. The Secretary of State Mr. Bastiaanse a leftist Dutchman told me that the new proposals were a genuine attempt on the part of members of the Bandoeng Conference to settle the Dutch-Republican dispute by an overall solution and have come as a surprise to the Dutch authorities and had the effect of holding up a Dutch settlement plan with or without the Republic being sent to The Hague.

7. Last night the 21st July at a reception held by the Belgian Consulate I had a talk with Raden Abdul-Kadir. He told me he had been in bad health and away on holidays but that he had now taken his place again as Chairman of the Dutch Delegation. Abdul-Kadir said that recently at Jogja he had several talks with Dr. Hatta but always came up against the one great stumbling block 'sovereignty', he was reticent with regard to a future solution or to the outcome of the Bandoeng Conference.

1 Cablegram 179 (Document 209) was in fact dispatched on 21 July.

2 In Cablegram 182, Eaton advised that the Bandung Conference had drawn up new proposals which would be discussed by the Provisional Federal Government on 26 July and then sent to the Republican Government in Djokjakarta.

3 Document 200.

[AA:A4231/2, 1948 BATAVIA]