393 Evatt [1] to Heydon for Hodgson

Cablegram unnumbered SS DOMINION MONARCH, 19 December 1948


Transmission to Hood or Hodgson, whichever represents Australia at Security Council Meeting on INDONESIA.


(1) I have only latest broadcast report that police action has been commenced by Dutch against Republic.

(2) This is direct challenge to United Nations and particularly to Security Council. Hood and Hodgson know history fully. Security Council are still seized with it and should direct immediate cessation of fighting or any use whatever of force.

(3) Hodgson strongly suspected Belgian President of Security Council was working with Dutch and it is extraordinary to find affair timed as it is in recess of Assembly and, probably, Security Council. Therefore Security Council should not adjourn without order or undertaking equivalent of order.

Stikker, Dutch Foreign Minister, saw me at Paris and did not give slightest inkling of this action. It seems extremely reprehensible and there may have to be some tough things said to restore Dutch to sense of responsibility to United Nations. Telephone this to Hood or Hodgson, emphasising necessity of taking action before adjournment and forcing matter to a vote. You can imagine reaction in India, Pakistan, Ceylon and South East Asia generally, unless we make courageous attempt to prevent shocking loss of life.

(4) Please keep me fully informed. Also let Mr. Beasley know that Bevin on Thursday in presence of Attlee told me that no police action was contemplated by Dutch.

(5) It is vital to Australia to act resolutely in this crisis, without any bias in favour of either side and solely with a view to prevent loss of life and insist on adherence to authority of United Nations. Under no circumstances tolerate any move for adjournment, which will cause or facilitate fait accompli. (Ends)

1 Evatt left the United Kingdom by ship for Australia on 17 December. He seems to have dispatched this cablegram from the SS Dominion Monarch to Heydon on 19 December. Heydon then recyphered the cablegram and dispatched it to Hodgson on 20 December.

[AA:A3318/1, L48/3/1/16]