260 Officer to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram Hag 136 THE HAGUE, 30 September 1948



My telegram No.129. [1] After drawing up a long list of objections to the Cochran proposals [2] the Netherlands Government now apparently have decided to put forward two only namely (1) That the proposal to hold free elections at the present time is impossible and so a Constituent Assembly could not be set up in the way proposed.

(2) Impossibility of securing Parliamentary sanction here for the Cochran plan as it stands.

2. Last night I talked to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and tried to impress on him the futility of their present purely negative attitude. If they felt that the situation in the Republic made elections impossible they should put up the very best alternative. If they allow the situation to drift they will find themselves back in the hopeless situation of 1946.

3. Lovink accepted my criticisms in good part and said that the Government had decided to try and find a way out of the difficulty and would be putting forward a proposal of their own within the next two or three days. I expressed the hope that the proposals would be practical and based on the situation and not drafted from an extremely [3] juridical angle trying to protect every possible right.

4. The Minister for Foreign Affairs arrived at Paris this afternoon.

1 Document 253.

2 See Documents 237 and 238.

3 A sign here indicates 'probable meaning of corrupt group'.

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