411 Makin to Burton [1]

Cablegram 1290 WASHINGTON, 20 December 1948, 3.20 p.m.


My 1289. Before replying to my questions, Lovett read report from Cowen to effect that in interview with him you had stated:

(a) That United States could have prevented Dutch Military action if they had so desired.

(b) That United States should not have been surprised at Dutch action.

(c) That you could not understand why United States had not used ERP aid as a lever, and (d) That any disadvantages in restraining member of Western Union would be more than offset by advantage in settling Indonesian question.

2. Lovett said that, while United States and Australian views largely coincided, he could not accept and must dissociate himself from statements such as you had made, which appeared to be based on bad advice or lack of information. He pointed out that the United States had sent a blunt note [2] to the Dutch about ten days ago warning of action United States would take if Dutch proceeded with their plans. (See our telegram 1253 [3] para. 2).

Cochran had taken every step possible up till eleventh hour, e.g.:

He had flown to DJOKJAKARTA and had secured letter from Hatta [4] while Australian representative was absent in Canberra or somewhere. [5]

3. I did not, of course, make any comment on Lovett's remarks, particularly as I had not been advised of your interview with Cowen. [6] I feel, however, you should know that Lovett appeared strongly to resent your statements as Cowen has reported them. It might be helpful if you could at some stage express appreciation for such steps as United States have taken, or if you could authorize me to do so.

1 Addressed to Burton only.

2 See note 2 to Document 407.

3 Document 355.

4 See Document 370.

5 Critchley was in fact in Batavia.

6 No record found of Burton's conversation with Cowen.

[AA:A1838, 854/10/4/3, i]