278 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K172 BATAVIA, 14 October 1948


Last night Spoor, Commander in Chief of the Netherlands Indies Forces, called on Cochran to request an interview with the Committee to explain the military situation in the Republic.

Cochran pointed out that Spoor should make his approach to the Committee through the Chairman of the Netherlands Delegation. On past experience Spoor's request is a disturbing pointer to the possibility of early Dutch military action against the Republic.

2. Van Mook forwarded his resignation to The Hague on Monday.

According to an official Government spokesman Van Mook's reason was that he had been by-passed and uninformed of action at The Hague over the past two weeks. He had not been consulted on action concerning Indonesia and especially on decisions in the conferences on the interim government. Acceptance of the resignation was learnt of in Batavia this morning from press releases at The Hague, but official acceptance has not yet been received.

3. On Sunday evening Van Mook appeared to be in a particularly cheerful mood and gave no hint that there was a possibility of his resigning. There may be a close connection between the actions of Van Mook and Spoor. Republicans in Batavia are pessimistic and see in the resignation a swing towards the reactionary right. They consider discussions towards a peaceful settlement of the Indonesian question will be more difficult and the possibility of a police action much more likely.

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