387 Pritchett to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 309 BATAVIA, 19 December 1948, 11.45 a.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE SECRET

The Consular Corps were summoned to the Palace at 8.30 this morning to hear a statement from Beel.

2. He informed us that the Netherlands Govt. has yesterday afternoon handed a memorandum [1] to the Ambassadors in The Hague which stated inter alia that the Netherlands Govt. had been obliged to authorize him to take without any further delay such measures as he concluded necessary to re-establish conditions of peace and security in the whole of Indonesia. Beel said that he had authorized military action and that this had already begun. He said that he had as yet received no reports on the fighting.

Precautions would be taken to ensure the safety of the Committee of Good Offices personnel now in Kaliurang.

3. Cutts who came to Batavia yesterday is at present with Cochran and will report later. Communications with Kaliurang were cut off last night so we have been unable to contact Critchley.

4. Alagappan has informed me that aircraft which was to have taken Sukarno has had to return to India without him.

5. Copies of the Netherlands memorandum were handed to us and full text follows in my immediately following telegram.

6. I now understand that the Dutch forces crossed the status quo line and others parachuted into Djokjakarta early this morning.

1 See Documents 383 and 386.
[AA:A1838, 403/3/1/1, xx]