29 Critchley to Kirby and Burton

Cablegram K45 BATAVIA, 22 January 1948, 4.45 p.m.


1. At Monday's meeting the Republican Delegation accepted the Committee's additional six political principles 'on the strength of' the clarifications given by the Committee to the Republicans.

The Netherlands Delegation now claims that this acceptance is conditional to such an extent that in its opinion it cannot be regarded as an acceptance. The Netherlands Delegation is prepared for elaboration of its objections after further study and has lodged a formal protest against the Committee's delay in transferring to it a copy of the document of formal meetings at Kaliorang on January 13th. [1]

2. I have taken the line that since the Committee made it clear that its clarifications were not binding on either party, the Republican's reference to them is not a conditional acceptance but merely a reminder that the Committee has expressed its own views.

I have strongly urged that, in fairness to the Parties and in order to break down the present misunderstanding and prevent further misunderstandings the Committee should immediately- (A) Obtain a statement from the Republicans that their acceptance of the principles is unconditional;

(B) Issue a Press release setting out the Committee's clarifications to the Republic with a clear statement that these clarifications are the Committee's own opinions and are binding on neither party.

3. Herremans, who is Chairman, has opposed saying that we should await further information from the Netherlands Government at The Hague. This opposition appears to be weakening however, and after further discussions this morning he has asked me to prepare a memorandum. Graham has asked for time to consider the matter and has gone on a two days cruise.

4. In the event of my proposal being accepted there would be considerable argument as to what clarifications should be included in the press statement and we should have to refer to such verbatim notes as were taken by the Secretariat. When in doubt I would insist on the use of formal summary of the meetings as final.

5. The main controversy will probably hinge on whether Article 1 [2] permits the Republic to continue for the time being its foreign representation and maintain its own Army and currency. It is interesting to note that the summary of the record of Djokjakarta meeting (S-AC.10-SR.59) [3] shows that Graham said that the political principles [4] 'included all the points in Linggadjati Agreement with the exception of (A) The organs of the Netherlands Indonesian Union;

(B) Foreign Relations;

(C) Finance; and (D) Internal security.' There was opposition to this and I presume Kirby agrees that this may be taken as the opinion of the Committee.

1 See Document 21, note 8.

2 i.e. Article 1 of Document 24.

3 Summary Record of the 59th meeting of the Committee of Good Offices in Kaliurang on 12 January 1948.

4 i.e. the eighteen political principles in Documents 23 and 24.

[AA:A1838, 854/10/4/2, iv]