418 Cutts to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K218 BATAVIA, 21 December 1948, 3.50 p.m.


The Dutch arc still unable to supply any information regarding the welfare of the Committee's personnel at Kaliurang. Schuurman has not yet had any report from De Ranitz. Cochran and I during a stormy interview with Schuurman last night (December 20th) demanded that in the absence of detailed news regarding Kaliurang party by 7 a.m. this morning a military assistant of the Committee should be flown to Djokjakarta to ascertain the position and report to us. This was at first flatly refused but agreed to in principle after further reference to the Palace. However by 10 a.m. this morning no news has been received from Kaliurang and arrangements had not been made for military assistant designated by us to proceed to Djokjakarta. In view of this Cochran and I will today hand Schuurman on behalf of the Committee a formal request for information regarding the present welfare of party at Kaliurang and steps taken by the Dutch to ensure their safety. We shall also formally request that the Dutch provide communications to enable all members of the Committee to meet.

2. A telegram was received from the President of the Security Council addressed to the Committee requesting the Committee to furnish 'all information of military operations as well as circumstances leading to the outbreak of hostilities, [their nature and causes]'. [1] Cochran and I will today make the necessary report on behalf of the Committee.

3. Two unofficial American citizens who were evacuated from Djokjakarta yesterday give an eye witness account of the capture of the city. Aircraft were used for strafing with machine guns and rockets resulting in an unknown number of civilian casualties.

There was also considerably more damage to the town than reported by the Dutch. The greater part of the Republican Army is believed to have withdrawn from Djokjakarta before the town fell.

4. Press correspondents here inform me that their despatches are subject to most rigid political censorship being confined in fact to official communiques. This may be due to a desire on the part of the Dutch to persuade the world that all Republican resistance has ceased with the fall of Djokjakarta and that conditions in the former Republican areas are again peaceful. Though there are so far only unconfirmed reports of guerilla activities considerable resistance may yet develop outside Djokjakarta particularly in Sumatra.

5. Last night Schuurman handed Cochran the Netherlands reply [2] to the latter's letter December 17th (K211). [3] A summary will be included in my next telegram.

1 Inserted from a copy on file AA:A4357/2, 48/254, vi.

2 The text of Schuurman's letter to Cochran dated 20 December is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Third Year, Supplement for December, pp.241-6.

3 Document 382.

[AA:A1838, 403/3/1/1, xx]