245 Department of External Affairs to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 812 CANBERRA, 1[7] September 1948, 5.45 p.m.


Your 1028. Indonesia.

Understand Netherlands Foreign Minister is in Washington, where he will discuss Cochran's proposals with State Department. You should communicate the following informally to the State Department at first opportunity.

2. Critchley reports from Batavia that Hatta is holding his position well and is assured of strong support within KNIP and Army. Nevertheless, he will have to proceed cautiously for the time being: any immediate attempt to re-open negotiations or to take strong line with Communist elements would probably lead to major clash, whereas with careful preparation Government may be in a stronger position in a few weeks' time. Critchley believes that Hatta may not therefore be able to accept the American proposals for some weeks. Meanwhile, however, Republican delegation can accept the proposals, with reservation, as a basis for discussion.

3. United States Government will appreciate that in this delicate situation Netherlands Government could greatly assist by making a conciliatory gesture. One thing they might do, for example, is to hand back to the Republicans the hospital and other premises at Batavia which they recently took over, and to restore previous immunities 10 Republican delegation. This would remove an immediate cause of anti-Dutch feeling and would make for improved atmosphere. [1]

1 Cablegram 1038, dispatched from Washington on 17 September, reported that the substance of Cablegram 812 (Document 245) had been relayed to the State Department and that Marshall and other State Department officials had met with Stikker and Blom on the morning of 17 September.

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