313 Noel-Baker to Australian Government

Cablegram H453 LONDON, 13 November 1948, 4.30 p.m.


My telegram H.286 Saving. [1] Indonesia.

Indications that Dutch were pursuing delaying tactics in negotiations over Cochran proposals [2] have given rise to anxiety in many quarters that they were in fact not sincere in agreeing to negotiate but were hoping to produce a situation in which they might claim justification for police action against the Republic.

We have received warnings from our representatives in Batavia and The Hague of talk of police action but so far have had no indication that the Dutch Government had decided on this step.

2. In view of the critical situation which might arise, Mr. Bevin spoke very seriously to the Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs in Paris [3] and action has been taken at The Hague and in Batavia to point out the disastrous consequences in all quarters which renewed fighting begun by the Dutch would have. We have good reason to believe that the Americans have taken a similar line.

3. A more encouraging feature has been the visit by Dutch Foreign Minister to Djokjakarta in first week of November when we understand he had frank and apparently friendly talks with Dr.

Hatta. At these talks it was agreed in principle that the Republic would enter an interim Government in the near future [without] [4] elections. The problem still remains however to discover a form of Government that would be agreeable to both the Republicans and Federalists. It was agreed that the Republic should put forward their own ideas and Mr. Stikker's advisers remained at Djokjakarta. to discuss these with Republicans. Much therefore depends on the report the advisers bring back from the Republic.

It was further agreed that elections were impracticable at present and the form of an interim Government should be settled by December 1st. Mr. Stikker himself is not optimistic as to developments after this date if no agreement has been reached.

1 Dispatched on 5 November, it conveyed information about the Communist uprising in the Republic, the resignation of Van Mook, and the impending resumption of negotiations between the Netherlands and the Republic.

2 See Documents 237 and 238.

3 See note 2 to Document 304.

4 inserted from a copy on file AA: A3300/7, 687.

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