247 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K159 KALIURANG, 19 September 1948

SECRET

Following an uprising the Communists appear to have taken control of Madioen [1], one of the big cities in East Java and a main centre of Republican transport workshops. Sukarno, who appears seriously distressed, fears the Communists may gain control of the large airfield in the vicinity of the city which is poorly protected and could be used for the supply of arms. Hatta who is more sanguine is studying reports with a view to counter measures.

2. The Committee of Good Offices was informed today that a number of families of Republicans have been given notice to leave Netherlands-controlled territory within two weeks on the ground that they are connected with or suspected of 'inadmissible activities'. The Committee agrees that the threat of such action, following upon the succession of incidents and measures which have already been referred to the Committee will seriously prejudice success of any negotiations and indeed may make the resumption of negotiations impossible. The Committee has telegraphed the Netherlands Delegation expressing this view and the hope that the Netherlands Indies Government will withdraw the notices in the cases of those families whose actual participation in 'inadmissible activities' is not established by convincing and publishable evidence.

3. The Republican cabinet will consider the new American proposals [2] this evening. Both Sukarno and Hatta hope that their acceptance as a basis of negotiation will be possible within the next two days. If this acceptance is given the Americans agree that it will be necessary to exert the strongest pressure on the Dutch not only to induce their acceptance but also to ensure the reversal of recent provocative policies against Republicans in Batavia so that negotiations can be resumed in an atmosphere conducive to a settlement.

1 On 18 September Pesindo took over installations in Madiun and announced the formation of a National Front Government for the Madiun Residency.

2 See Documents 237 and 38.

[AA:A4357/2, 48/260/1, iii]