444 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K222 BATAVIA, 23 December 1948, 4.45 p.m.

Following is copy of very urgent report dated twenty-two December that Committee of Good Offices has transmitted to President of Security Council. [1] Begins:

1. At approximately 0640 Batavia time on Sunday nineteen December the members of the Committee of Good Offices were awakened by the sound of explosions from the direction of Maguwo airport Jogjakarta. Present at Kaliurang the headquarters of the Committee at the time were the Australian representative, the Belgian representative and the deputy of the United States representative.

After the Committee had made a survey of the situation, it held special meeting at 0845 Batavia time and directed that the following telegram be transmitted to the United States representative who had gone to Batavia the day before with the deputy of the Australian representative:

MOST IMMEDIATE. Cochran, Hotel Des Indes Batavia and care United States Consul General Batavia. Committee requests the following message be transmitted to the

Security Council earliest.

'Six a.m. today, Dutch began large scale bombing of Maguwo airport, Jogjakarta republican capital. Hatta reports bombing of parts of Jogjakarta itself and the dropping of paratroopers.

Committee calls for immediate meeting of Security Council for appropriate action.' Committee authorises Cochran and Cutts to supplement this message as they see fit and take other appropriate urgent action in Batavia on behalf of the Committee if communications with Committee impracticable. Have authorised special release to press of Committee's supplementary report [2] of December eighteen. Urge maintenance of communications between Batavia and Jogjakarta.

Confirm receipt. T.K. Critchley, Australia, R.H. Herremans, Belgium, R.E. Lisle, United States.

2. Every effort was made to have this telegram transmitted to Batavia. When the Batavia radio failed to answer a general call was sent out to all stations including ships at sea. A further attempt to have the message broadcast by the Jogjakarta radio failed. Later efforts were made to transmit the message during that day and on twenty and twenty-one December after the arrival of Netherlands forces. These efforts failed.

3. Late in the afternoon of nineteen December, the delegations and the Secretariat, at the direction of Republican Military Officials, rearranged and consolidated their residences in order to be in a concentrated area which could more readily be protected.

4. During the night twenty-twenty-one December the Republican Garrison withdrew. The members of the Republican Delegation remained.

5. At 1510 Batavia time Monday twenty December the Netherlands forces arrived in Kaliurang. With the exception of the servants and Hotel employees most of whom had remained to serve the delegations, the area appeared deserted. There were a number of shots fired by the advancing Netherlands forces and gunfire was heard intermittently during the days that followed. There were reports of fatal shootings of civilians. The shooting of an unarmed boy by an Ambonese soldier of the Netherlands forces was personally witnessed by a member of the Secretariat staff and his young daughter.

6. Effective communications between Kaliurang and Jogjakarta were not reestablished through Monday and Tuesday twenty and twenty-one December.

7. At about goo hours on Wednesday twenty-one December the three delegations and the Secretariat staff were removed in convoy to Jogjakarta and late in the afternoon began in three divisions to fly to Batavia. The Republican Delegation at last reports remained in Kaliurang confined to restricted limits. Netherlands officers stated, however, that the Republican delegation would be shortly removed to Jogjakarta.

8. Throughout nineteen-twenty-twenty-one December numerous explosions were heard and large columns of smoke were witnessed at many points in the valley below Kaliurang. Some twelve houses in Kaliurang were burned down before the arrival of the Netherlands forces. During the ride down from Kaliurang, it was observed that most of the houses were closed and that there were few or no workers to be seen in the fields or along the road. A number of the bridges had been demolished.

9. On its return to Batavia the Committee took note of the reports which had been sent to the Security Council by the United States representative and the deputy of the Australian representative on nineteen and twenty-one December [3] in the four-day period during which communications between the Committee at Kaliurang, on the one hand, and Batavia and the outside world on the other, were entirely broken. it was noted that the reports made and other actions taken by the United States representative and the deputy of the Australian representative were fully authorised not only by the emergency situation that existed but by the express authority conferred on them to act for the Committee by the decision taken by the Committee at Kaliurang at its meeting of nineteen December 1948.

Signed R. Herremans, Belgium Chairman, T.K. Critchley Australia, H. Merle Cochran, United States.


1 The full text of the report is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Third Year, Supplement for December, PP.295-6.

2 See note 6 to Document 382.

3 See Documents 392 and 427.

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