446 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K225 BATAVIA, 23 December 1948, 11 p.m.


Your telegram 332 [1]' Cessation of Marshall aid to Indonesia only is little more than a gesture. The State Department has been considering aid to the Netherlands also which appears to be the only sanction likely to be effective. Cochran is sympathetic but has asked me not to report his reactions to you.

2. The United Kingdom Foreign Office is reported to be opposed to sanctions because the Netherlands Government will refuse to halt police action (sic).

3. If the Dutch maintain their defiant attitude there will be little value in the Committee and Military Observers remaining.

The United States in their recent strong note [2] to the Dutch indicated that if there was no basis for negotiations they would withdraw their Representative on the Committee and restore their freedom of action. I shall be able to report further on this in the next day or two.

4. In the immediate future there is every likelihood that the Committee will be asked for a further report. In view of recent detailed reports from the Committee this should presumably be short and in order to overcome Herremans' objections, make use of the language used by Cochran and Cutts. At the same time it should be possible to criticise inaccuracies in recent Netherlands statements and include a punch line to the effect that recent precipitant use of force by the Netherlands would appear to justify Hatta's concern for the need of safeguards against the use of Netherlands troops in the interim period.

1 23 December, it requested the Australian Delegation, Committee of Good offices, to assess the value of the cessation of Marshall aid to Indonesia as a sanction and to urge the cessation of Marshall aid to the Netherlands.

2 Possibly a reference to the US aide-memoire of 9 December (see note 2 to Document 407).

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