232 Eaton to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 236 BATAVIA, 3 September 1948, 5.40 p.m.

SECRET

Your telegram No. [2]34 [1] refers also my telegram No. 231.

No definite information is available in Batavia, and the present rise of communism has occurred since the arrival in the Republic of Moeso, Suripno in early August, and who are stated to be accompanied by a Russian organiser, combined hardening of the Dutch attitude as per incidents reports and disclosures of opium traffic. [2] Moeso has stated that a national front is imperative to deal with the Dutch and that the present Republican Army and Government should be purged.

2. Sjahrir minimises the Communist danger and says the majority of socialists will break away from Sjarifuddin and join his party.

This I consider doubtful as Sjahrir no longer has a popular following.

3. Opinion is divided as to whether Sukarno, Hatta, with the assistance of TNI can deal with the situation, or fall, and Republic turn optimistically to [Russian] [3] bloc in view of lack of settlement through agency of United Nations.

1 Dispatched on 2 September. It requested background information on the union of Communists and Socialists within the Republic.

2 See notes 2, 3 and 4 to Document 228.

3 Corrected from a copy on file AA:A4357/2, 48/260/1, iii.

[AA:A1838, 403/6/5/1]