242 Eaton to Burton

Departmental Dispatch 26/1948 BATAVIA, 15 September 1948


An attempt is made in this Despatch briefly to trace the main line of development in the present political crisis in the Republic and to give some account of the issues involved and of the disposition of the conflicting groups. I add as an appendix [1], a short note on the history of Communism in Indonesia, largely borrowed from the researches of the British Consulate-General. Sources for the body of the Despatch are press reports, conversations and common surmise.

1. The Development of the Crisis 2. You will remember that the Left wing parties refused Hatta's offer, when he formed his Cabinet at the beginning of February, of three seats in the Government. [2] Their refusal was of course, understandable, since to have participated in a Cabinet, to the Presidential character of which they strongly objected, having earlier fought hard for the Parliamentary Cabinet, and which was so dominated by the Conservative parties to which they were opposed, would have considerably weakened their position.

Furthermore, the overthrow of Sjarifuddin's Government over the Renville Agreement and the subsequent acceptance of this Agreement by Hatta's Government, rankled. However, it did not appear at the time that the Left contemplated nonparticipation in the Government as a long term policy but expected that the conservative composition of the Cabinet would be modified and more substantial representation offered. If this were so, such expectations were not realised; Hatta maintained his offer for a time but did not increase it. The Left continued in its refusal and was consequently excluded from the Government.

3. Previously the Masjumi had likewise refused to co-operate in the Left wing Government of Sjahrir and Sjarifuddin. However, it usually had in fact been represented (by such people as Mohammed Natsir and Mohammed Rum), even though it disclaimed responsibility for its members in Cabinet. Moreover, despite the opposition to preceding Governments' policies towards the Dutch, it had never constituted an active opposition within the country. These things could not now be said of the Left wing. Only two members of Left wing organisations had joined the Cabinet, Supeno, (Pesindo) and Kusnan (Labour), but in doing so they severed their party connections and were listed as 'non-partisan'. Hatta, who has socialist views, was by virtue of his position above party platforms. The Left then, was separated from the Government in a way in which the Masjumi had never been. Furthermore, where the Masjumi had been content with a more or less passive role on domestic issues, the Left, despite Hatta's announcement that it had agreed to support his Government's programme, began to develop as a dynamic Opposition.

4. Until this time, domestic programmes had never become important issues within the Republic. For the conservative parties this was natural enough since no significant changes had threatened, to provoke them. On the other hand, the Left wing parties, from whence change was to be expected, had always been closely associated with the Government and so distracted from domestic issues by the tasks of maintaining the national revolution and reaching some settlement with the Dutch. Domestic conflicts had largely been obscured in the exigencies of national policy. Now, independent of governmental responsibilities and of obligations to other parties in coalition, the Left was free to develop its position.

5. The state of the country was increasingly favourable to Left wing agitation. After the Japanese occupation and nearly three years of national revolution, plus the losses suffered during the July 'police action' and the effect of the Dutch blockade, the economy was in a critical condition. Now there were the additional losses involved in the withdrawals under Renville and the added pressure of troops moving in from the Dutch-occupied areas and of evacuees. Shortages were widespread and severe, costs were soaring, while wages remained at a level that had not been raised since the Japanese occupation. Hardship forced many into looting and brigandage. These conditions were bound to force domestic issues to the fore in Republican politics. The Government recognised the situation and expounded policies of rationalisation and reconstruction with which it planned to build up a more favourable economy. However, these did not satisfy the Left and it accused the Government of neglect of the peasants and workers and demanded the formation of a new Government which would be interested to 'secure the fate of the working class'.

6. The position of opposition and agitation adopted by the Left wing groups under Sjarifuddin and Setiadjit, caused an early split in the Socialist Party and on 11th February a new 'Socialist Party of Indonesia' (Partai Socialis Indonesia) was established under the leadership of Sjahrir (though he himself was absent from Indonesia at the time). it included the two cabinet members who had earlier broken away, Supeno, and Kusnan. In explanation of the move, Sjahrir stated that he and his followers wished to prevent the sharpening of class antagonisms and the disunity in the national ranks which must follow. (He later attacked Sjarifuddin's group for concentrating only on Left Wing followers and ignoring the feudal classes.) At the same time there were, and are, important differences between the new party and the old: the socialism of Sjarifuddin's party is predominantly working class socialism and the party looks for its support among the workers' unions, the seasonal labourers, the dispossessed, the peasants, and sections of the youth movement; Sjahrir's group on the other hand, is predominantly doctrinaire and since it seeks solutions rather than the promotion of special interests, is of a moderate, 'middle of the road' character, happier, I suspect, in the solid atmosphere of a national revolution than in the rough and tumble of party politics. Typical of the intellectualising tendencies of the group is Sjahrir's theory of the development of the Asian nationalist movements into a third world bloc holding the balance between Soviet Communism and American Capitalism. One has the impression that the party lacks a grudge; it certainly lacks a popular following. However, though it can never become one of the major parties within the Republic, the influence of its members in high political circles should not be underestimated, particularly at this time when their opposition to Communism and the class war places them behind the Government.

7. Sjarifuddin shortly organised a number of Left wing groups, the Socialist, Communist and Labour Parties, SOBSI and the Farmers' Union, into a union called the People's Democratic Front (Front Democrasi Rakjat) and began a tour of the Republican provinces in Java, organising and agitating among workers, peasants, evacuees and demobilised personnel at mass meetings and in the towns and in the villages. He seems to have had little to say on national issues and to have concentrated on the domestic front, plugging the general leftist line of democracy in Indonesia for the workers and peasants. Specific targets of attack were the Masjumi Party, as representing the conservative landowning and business class, the Government's lack of a constructive and progressive approach to the economic crisis, its policies of economic rationalisation and army reorganisation, and its stubborn refusal to do away with the Presidential Cabinet and offer representation to the Left. The tour was a success and by the end of April the F.D.R. commanded a lively and well organised movement in active opposition to the Government on a number of clear and important issues.

8. As the Left grew in strength and coherence, the authority of the Government, weakened by the continuation of the economic crisis, the failure of the negotiations with the Dutch and by the continued agitation from the opposition for its resignation, steadily declined and there were persistent rumours of internal crisis and the resignation of the Cabinet. Whether in genuine alarm at the division in the country or in an effort to smother the Left by insistence on national issues, the P.N.I. and the Masjurni resolved early in May to open a National Unity campaign.

It is not clear if Sukarno intervened at this stage, as some of the more impressionable Republican newspapers declared; however, there were exchanges between the Government parties and the F.D.R.

which enabled them all to produce a joint message on 20th May, the fortieth anniversary of the Nationalist movement, in which they promised to bury their differences and unite in the national struggle. A fortnight later, all-party meetings began for the formulation of a National Programme and these continued, with only a few minor crises, until the Programme was accepted on 15th July.

However, though agreement was reached on policies, little else appears to have come out of the discussions. While it was generally held that Hatta should continue as Premier, the differences over the Cabinet remained irreconciled, the Left continuing to press for the Government's resignation and the establishment of a 'national' Cabinet, the Right conceding no more than that minor changes might be effected and warning of the crisis that any major changes might precipitate. 'To complete the national revolution', said the Masjumi leader, Sukiman, 'it is imperative to line up the whole masses of the people behind national aspirations. National unity first and above all, No party politics!' 9. While the conflict was being lulled in the meetings on the National Programme, the strike at Delanggu among the employees of the Government Textile Board broke out and feelings ran high once again. [3] There were bitter exchanges on the political front when Sjafruddin, Masjumi Minister for Economic Affairs, charged that the strike was politically inspired and when the F.D.R. came out in support of the strikers. The atmosphere became tense when the striking workers supported by peasant unions clashed with strike- breakers and Masjumi Hizbullah troops. The strike was settled, but by the end of July the situation appeared once more to be critical. It was reported that Hatta was conferring with the F.D.R., the P.S.I.I. (the left wing Masjumi group) and the People's Revolutionary Front (a new Organisation led by supporters of Tan Malacca's unsuccessful coup of 1946, whom Sukarno had released from prison under the August Anniversary amnesty).

However, nothing came of these talks and shortly afterwards, with the return of Suripno from Eastern Europe and the veteran Communist Muso, from Moscow, the situation reached a new stage.

II. The Present Crisis 10. Suripno and Muso arrived in Java some time early in August and, judging from articles in the Republican Press, lost no time in instructing their countrymen as to how a national revolution should properly be run. A National Front was necessary; a government dominated by the Right was just as useless as one dominated by the Left, Muso explained simply. Shortly they had gained control of S.O.B.S.I. and organised a merger of the F.D.R.

and the P.K.I., which the Pesindo soon afterwards joined. At the end of August the new enlarged Communist Party established a 'politbureau' which was organised as a Cabinet and Government secretariat, Defence going to Sjarifuddin for example, Foreign Affairs to Suripno, and which was nothing less than a state within the State. In official pronouncements the new Communists were fairly restrained and did not associate themselves with the extremist demands of their satellite groups for the immediate break off of the negotiations with the Dutch and the prosecution of the national revolution against the 'fascist-imperialists'.

Nevertheless, it was apparent that they were not content with Hatta's declared four-point policy for a settlement with the Dutch, and that their emphasis was on the achievement of the Republic's independence whatever else might take place in the Indonesian archipelago. By direct attacks on America and the 'Western' nations and support for Russia they sniped at the Committee of Good Offices and Hatta's policy. It was left to S.O.B.S.I. to deliver the full charge against the Government, which it did in the following statement:

'1. The third meeting of the SOBSI (Central Organisation of Indonesian Labour) Presidium, held at Jogjacarta on August 22, 1948, attended by representatives of 32 trade unions' general committees, After having ample discussions on the weaknesses of the present National Revolution, Is of the opinion: that the SOBSI has committed principal mistakes by overestimating the imperialist powers and underestimating the anti-imperialist power, and by pursuing a compromise policy with regard to imperialism, resulting in:

a. the fact that the National Revolution is not led by the labour class, which is consistent in its revolutionary, anti-imperialist attitude and which is allied with the peasants and enjoys the full support of the whole people;

b. the fact that the colonial administration machinery has not been replaced and that the remnants of feudalism have not been annihilated;

c. the non-existence of distinct efforts to improve the fate of the labourers and peasants;

d. the non-existence of a National Front which is consistently anti-imperialist;

e. the recognition of agreements of colonial character.

Considering: that the SOBSI must need take distinct steps to make good aforesaid principal mistakes, Decides:

a. to recognize the faultiness of pursuing a compromise policy towards the imperialists and to pursue in future a consistently anti-imperialist policy;

b. to urge the Government:

(i) to withdraw the Political Manifesto of November 1, 1945 [4];

(ii) to annul the Linggadjati and Renville Agreements;

(iii) to reject the American-Australian compromise proposals;

(iv) to negotiate based upon full sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia;

(v) the immediate initiation of the exchange of Consuls with the Soviet-Union and to foster the recognition by states where people's democracy is prevailing, such as Czecho-Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, Yugo-Slavia, Albania, Rumania and Bulgaria;

(vi) to nationalize the property of whomsoever is hostile to the National Revolution without any compensation;

(vii) to discontinue all negotiations with the Dutch as a protest against the shooting by fascist Dutch at children, boyscouts and girl guides who were celebrating the third anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Indonesia at Jacarta, while the negotiations can be continued only on the condition as laid down in (b), (iv);

(viii) to renovate the structure of the whole State's machinery, which proves to be colonial remnants, and to place manpower which is consistently anti-imperialist.

c. to accept and carry out the National Program;

d. to vanguard the formation of the National Front in a democratic way; the membership of which is individual;

e. to urge the Head of State to dissolve the present Cabinet and to replace it by a responsible National Front cabinet on the following terms:

(i) to be founded on the National Program;

(ii) the ministers should be persons who have approved the formation of the National Front and who are members of it.

f. the SOBSI participates in forming the National Front cabinet;

g. to intensify the preparations for a scorched earth policy and the people's defence by equipping the whole people;

h. to support the struggle of the peasants who demand 'land for those who till it';

i. to uphold above decisions actively and to be prepared for the consequences.

Urges: people in the occupied territories to adapt their struggle to this decision.

(This resolution is submitted to:

a. the President;

b. the Government;

c. the Working Committee of the Provisional Parliament;

d. parties and/or organisations;

e. press and radio;

f. W.F.T.U.)' 11 The question arises as to how the Communists managed to capture the initiative in this way, for hitherto they had been an active but never very influential party and moreover, since the end of May, had been subject to opposition from the Trotskyist People's Revolutionary Front (Tan Malacca's followers). It seems probable that Muso had some success with the standard themes of the Soviet as the workers' and peasants 'Utopia and as the friend and protector of national revolutions. His account of the current Soviet-American conflict would also carry weight with the Leftist movement and enable him to argue the futility of hoping to achieve anything through negotiations with a 'fascist-imperialist' power such as the Dutch, especially when such negotiations were supervised by 'Western' nations whose natural sympathies would be anti-revolutionary. Such arguments could be forcibly pointed by the actual failure of the negotiations with the Dutch, especially in regard to the blockade, and by the current series of incidents in Batavia: the shooting at the Republican Headquarters at Pengangsaan, the occupation of the Republican hospital and the order expelling Republican officials. The Communists were in a strong position to challenge Hatta and his Government on the grounds that they had done nothing to remedy the internal situation in the Republic and could only report failure on the national front. They could demand with some righteousness that new policies be adopted and that the Government make way for a national coalition which could effectively safeguard the Republic.

12. This development provoked a stiff reaction from the Right Wing parties, to whom the introduction of Communism was highly unacceptable. Hitherto, though the conflict between Left and Right had been bitter and had marked the end of the happier days of national unity so earnestly desired by Sukiman and Sjahrir, it had never appeared that there could not be a measure or compromise on both sides sufficient to allow of the establishment of an authoritative Government. Now, the conversion of the Left to Communism struck deeply at the most cherished interests of the Conservative movement. Briefly, and very simply, the basic issues between Left and Right are twofold: there is the normal socioeconomic conflict between the haves and the have-nots, aggravated by the existence of feudal remnants, widespread hardship consequent upon the economic crisis, a racketeering merchant class supported by its own private armies and frequently by an officialdom that is sometimes corrupt and nearly always conservative (the P.N.I. is largely an officials' party), and by anxiety over that national struggle against the Dutch; then there is the moral conflict between Islam and the Western notions of economic and social Organisation advocated by the Left. On both these counts Soviet Russia is the satanic force in the modem world for the conservative landowner and businessman and for the conservative Mohammedan, and it is such people who comprise the core of the Right Wing in the Republic. The identification then, of the Left with the Soviet Communism constituted a major threat to nearly every thing the Right wing represented, both materially and spiritually. Co-operation or compromise with such a force was out of the question. The Republic became divided into two camps, both of which were armed.

13. On September 2nd, Hatta dealt with the situation in a firm statement before the Working Committee of the Provisional Parliament (copy of his statement is attached). [5] Much of the speech dealt with the Government's efforts to fulfil its programme and with the difficulties it had to meet, but most significant at this time were Hatta's warnings that the Republic's struggle should not be reduced to a mere factor in the international conflict and of the danger for the Communists of placing loyalty to Russia even before the interests of national independence, believing as he does that the victory of Russia will inevitably bring about such independence. Hatta called for unity in the supreme interest of Indonesian independence and, emphasising that the Government would deal strictly with any developments which should threaten the national security, concluded by declaring that since the parties which had subscribed to the National Programme had proved unable to co-operate in the formation of a new Government, the present Cabinet would remain in office pending general elections.

14. The Masjumi Party held a special emergency session on 4th and 5th September and then issued the following statement:

'Masjumi's Council meeting, attended by representatives of Sumatra, Java, Madura, Borneo, the Celebes, the Moluccas and the Lesser Sunda Islands, held on 4th and 5th of September 1948 in jogjacarta, After having heard the explanations of the Chairman of the Political Council concerning the party's policy, which has received a vote of confidence, Having heard also the three preliminary advices and having paid the fullest attention to the opinion of its members, Taking into consideration that the Islam does not approve of communism and imperialism, Has determined the outlines of the struggle as follows:

1. Internal affairs:

a. approves the Government's policy during the past period as expressed by its representative in the KNIP (Provisional Parliament) Working Committee's session on 2nd September 1948;

b. maintains and strengthens the State based upon Divinity;

c. extends and deepens the Islamic spirit in order to repulse all trends which endanger the Religion and State;

d. stands behind the Government which speedily and firmly will take action against disturbers of the peace of the State;

e. recognises the private rights of foreigners and nationalises industries important to the State.

2. Foreign affairs:

a. perfects the relations with and intensifies the representatives in Islamic countries and other countries which have recognised the Republic of Indonesia;

b. reciprocates goodwill missions to countries that have sent their representatives to the Republic;

c. extends information in foreign countries, particularly in the principal countries;

d. the State to take steps to establish a link between the Republic and the outside world in the economic field, so that the Republic can contribute the produce of its wealth to world prosperity.' 15. During the debate on Hatta's statement in the Working Committee, Communist speakers have missed no opportunities to attack and discredit the Government. However, Government supporters have rallied and replied with an authority which during the year they have rarely commanded. A mass meeting of the P.N.I.

an Masjumi parties on 11th September declared its full support for the Government and both parties have rejected a Communist invitation to attend a conference on ways and means of strengthening the national unity. At present there are no indications of any approach between the groups and the crisis continues. It is not likely that the proposal to hold general elections 'as soon as practicable', as announced by Hatta in his Government statement, will help to ease the tension at this time.

III. The Disposition of the Parties 16. However, more important in determining the outcome of the crisis than the prospect of general elections will be the prospect of a settlement with the Dutch. In this regard the crisis has produced some interesting changes of front.

17. Throughout the history of the Republic the most important body of extreme opinion on the negotiations with the Dutch has been the Right wing Masjumi Party. It rejected both the Linggadjati and the Renville Agreements and has consistently advocated a radical line of settlement which would permit of no compromise on the position of the Republic as a sovereign and independent nation. Only recently it reaffirmed earlier resolutions calling for an extension of the Republic's foreign relations. It is certain then, that were it secure in its internal position it would not be content with Hatta's present policy for a settlement. The question arises now as to whether the party, or the more conservative elements in it, will be prepared to abandon its previous position of non-compromise with the Dutch and be interested to reach some settlement which will strengthen it in its domestic conflict. In reaching such a decision the party would run considerable risks for it would endanger its support among nationalist followers and would invite a general charge of treachery to the national revolution. It is hard to conceive of such a change of front throughout the whole party, but the fanatical opposition of sections of the Masjumi to Communism and to a Socialist movement is a powerful force; it is safe to say that some elements of the Masjumi are now considering selling the Republic out either to the Bandoeng Federalists or directly to the Dutch.

18. The other Right wing party, the P.N.I., which has likewise opposed previous efforts to conclude an agreement with the Dutch, is in much the same position as the Masjumi, though its attitude is probably not quite so stiff. An additional factor is that there is an influential group within this Party which believes that the best way to oust the Dutch is to encourage the Americans. (The so- called 'Fox Contract' [6] concluded by Maramis, derived from this policy). It seems likely that with the rise of Communism in the Republic, this group will be anxious to please the Americans by showing willingness to compromise with the Dutch and by taking a firm stand against the Communists. This group too, faces the difficulties of compromising its own nationalism and winning support within the Party for a moderate policy towards the Dutch and of incurring the risk of being generally accused of betraying the revolution. Maramis, incidentally, left again last week for America.

19. At the same time there are groups within both the Masjumi and the P.N.I. to whom a favourable settlement with the Dutch comes first and these might well be prepared to meet some of the Left's demands in the interests of maintaining national solidarity. It is not yet clear in what direction the Right is resolving these internal conflicts.

20. Meanwhile the Left wing appears strongly entrenched in its opposition to Hatta's Government and his policy for a settlement with the Dutch. In the light of the substantial movement which it represents within the country and of the recent pressure applied by the Dutch to the Republic, its demands for a place in the Government and for a firmer national policy are not at all unreasonable. However, while it remains Communist there seems little hope of a rapprochement with other Republican Parties and of a working unity being restored within the States.

21. The policy of the P.K.I. appears to have been directed rather to capturing the Left-wing movement than to converting it, but until August, though growing in influence as the crisis developed, it had been unable to gain its object. In August, Muso and Suripno could not, as suggested above, have returned at a more opportune time. Frustrated on both the domestic and the national fronts the mood of the Left was extremist; but in relation to the demands of the national movement for solidarity, its moral position was weak.

Any militant action it might decide upon could merely be 'insurrection'. Muso and Suripno could offer more than this; they could offer extremism a rational basis backed by all the moral authority of the world-wide revolution led by Soviet Russia.

However, though the Communists were thus able to fortify the Left Wing and so capture it, I do not believe that this means that they can hold it indefinitely.

22. The Left wing has a number of loyalties which cut across continued Communist domination, but the most important of these at present is the loyalty to the Republican nationalist movement as represented by Sukarno and Hatta. To what extent Hatta has lost in authority becoming involved in party politics is not yet evident, but I believe that Sukarno's influence for national solidarity is still extremely strong and that he could swing substantial portions of the Left behind a reasonable settlement with the Dutch by Hatta, particularly if, as suggested above, the Right wing were to get around to meeting some of the Left's more urgent demands.

The position of some of the Left wing leaders is important here, for it is reported that all are not happy about the Communists' triumph and, though they scrambled onto the band waggon in August, they would scramble off again did they sense an opportunity of rejoining the national movement on reasonable terms, even should they remain Communist in name. Despite Amir Sjarifuddin's recent announcement that he has been a Communist since 1935 and his undoubted Communist sympathies, I am inclined to consider him a case in point and to doubt that he has been an active Communist all this time, but made his move largely to maintain his position, and would switch again for the same reason. In reports of typical Leftist bickering about who missed the party line back in 1945 or 1946, there are also signs of dissension among Left wing leaders.

Furthermore there are three non-Right wing groups actively agitating against Communism and for solidarity with Hatta and Sukarno; the Socialist Party of Sjahrir, the Trotskyist People's Revolutionary Front and the P.S.I.I., the Moslem group which with the rise of Communism has recently set up an Islamic Front with the Masjumi and modified its opposition to Hatta's Government.

23. However strong these forces for union might eventually prove to be there are, unfortunately, no indications at present that the crisis is on the wane and that either side is prepared to relax its uncompromising attitude to the other. So far fighting has only broken out at Solo, for a long time a centre of dissident elements, and though this is reported to have been settled by the Government, there are still possibilities of a major clash, primarily over the question of weakness towards the Dutch. Should a clash develop Hatta has a good majority in the K.N.I.P. and at present, the certain support of the Right wing parties, the Masjumi and the P.N.I. and their satellites, and of the parties of the Centre, Sjahrir's Socialist Party, the P.S.I.I., the People's Revolutionary Front and minor groups such as the Catholics and the Christians. The Communist front, consisting of the Communist Party proper, Sjarifuddin's Socialist Party, the Labour Party, Pesindo, the Labour Unions, and satellite groups, commands a large and militant popular following and would probably be supported by certain lawless elements and a number of irregular bands which have been actively opposing the Dutch and all attempts to treat with them ever since August 15th, 1945. Both sides have private arms, but the deciding factor would of course be the T.N.I. In the Solo area it seems certain that the T.N.I. would support the Left.

The disposition of the bulk of the force is doubtful and I can only state some of the factors which might influence it to go against the Government. In the first place, some of our Military Observers report that the mood of the T.N.I. is at present very aggressive and it is eager not merely to come to grips with the Dutch in defence but in attack. This attitude is more in line with the Communists than with Hatta. Secondly, there have been reports throughout the year suggesting that the T.N.I. has not been unsympathetic to Leftist criticism of the Government's domestic and national policies. Thirdly, Army Sjarifuddin, Minister for Defence under Sjahrir and in his own Cabinet and popular choice for the post in Hatta's Cabinet, had considerable influence with the Army and is said to have retained its sympathy by his attacks on Hatta's demobilisation and re-organisation policy, which he has charged could only weaken the State. [7] It can be said then that the T.N.I. is not without its own conflicts over its allegiance and that Sukarno and Hatta will have to take urgent steps to ensure its support.

IV. Dutch Reactions 24. The reaction of the Netherlands East Indies authorities in Batavia to the crisis is confused. The military, well backed by commercial interests, are anxious to take all advantage of the present confusion by military action against the Republic. In other Government circles the supporters of the Lieutenant Governor-General, Dr. van Mook, are against military action for the present and it has been stated that such action will not take place except for the following reasons:

(a) Assistance called for by Dr. Hatta;

(b) The position getting entirely out of hand in the Republic;

(c) Any large scale attack on Dutch military positions.

In any case it seems obvious that the Dutch will endeavour to take full advantage of the crisis in the Republic to implement their own plans. However, there are complications in regard to this, particularly in respect to the growing differences between the present Provisional Government of Indonesia, created by Dr. van Mook, and the Bandoeng Conference (Heads of created Negaras) Delegation, sponsored by Van Mook and now sitting at The Hague in conference with the Dutch authorities for the creation of an Interim Government for Indonesia. It is also known that there is some co-operation and collusion between the members of the Conference and members of the Republican Government. The result of the demands of the Delegation at The Hague must influence the course of action the Dutch can take with the Republic.

25. The position of the Lieutenant Governor-General is interesting; the report of his resignation was followed by threats of resignation by some of his top-ranking supporters in Batavia, and it is now reported that the Provisional Federal Government in Batavia has asked the Government at The Hague for his return as Lieutenant Governor-General, to cope with the present crisis in the Republic.

26. Dr. Louis Beel, who has now arrived at Batavia as Crown Commissioner and to be head of the Dutch Delegation, is said to be only remaining in Indonesia for a short term. It was considered in many quarters that he would become the first Dutch High Commissioner on the early formation of the proposed new Interim Government for Indonesia and thus replace Dr. van Mook in his present position of Lieutenant Governor-General.

1 Not published.

2 See Document 46.

3 Sacked factory workers and 17 000 members of the Sarbupri (Plantation Workers Union) went on strike on 26 May. The Maslumi, sent its peasant union affiliate, Sarekat Tani Islam Indonesia (STII), into Delanggu to work idle fields and this led to clashes.

Units of the West Java Siliwangi Division and the Tentara Pelajar came to the defence of the STII before the strike was settled in favour of the workers on 16 July. See Anthony Reid, The Indonesian National Revolution 1945-1950, Longman, Melbourne, 1974, P.133.

4 According to George McTurnan Kahin this had particular reference to the clause in the Political Manifesto guaranteeing the return of foreign investments and honouring all the pre-war debts of the NEI Government once the independence of the Republic had been recognized. See his Nationalism and Revolution in Indonesia, Cornell University Press, New York, 1952, P.278.

5 Not published.

6 See note 2 to Document 42.

7 In February 1948 Hatta had embarked on a 'rationalisation' of the Republic's armed forces. He hoped to reduce the size of the army and to transform it into a well-armed and well-trained regular army.

[AA:A4231/2, 1948 BATAVIA]