252 Department of External Affairs to Officer, Embassy in Washington and High Commission in London

Cablegrams 92, 823, 3676 CANBERRA, 23 September 1948, 11.10 a.m.

SECRET

INDONESIA

My immediately following telegram [1] comprises latest report from Critchley on Indonesian situation, which, as will be seen, is extremely precarious. One of the principal dangers is that of precipitate Dutch action to intervene with force inside the Republic on the excuse of suppressing Communists. It is clearly most important that Dutch should show forbearance and allow Hatta every chance to crush insurgents in his own way, and with his own forces. The best course which the Dutch can take is to indicate prompt and genuine acceptance of American proposals, and to lend Hatta encouragement along the lines of paragraph 4 of Critchley's telegram.

2. If they do not sustain Hatta during next vital few weeks, they will invite chaos and will have missed opportunity of a reasonable settlement which still offers some prospect of permanence.

Alternative of Dutch military action will lose all.

3. For The Hague only. You should take first opportunity to press these arguments with The Hague authorities.

For Washington only. We understand that Unites States Government, in discussions with Stikker, has stood firm against substantial modifications of United States proposals. This will encourage United States representatives at Batavia, and you should impress upon State Department our view that a great deal depends on continued American firmness.

For London only. Please urge United Kingdom Government to use its influence in this direction.

1 Dispatched on 23 September, it conveyed the text of Document 250.

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