453 Hodgson to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 284 PARIS, 23 December 1948, 11.40 p.m.

Security Council, 23rd December afternoon. [1] Syria was first speaker. Asserted that Council had plenty of information on which to make up its mind and rejected all reasons put forward by Dutch for their action as being quite inadequate to justify use of force. in particular, he suggested that intervention in interests of law and order would only make position far worse. El Khouri sponsored and supported Australian amendments. [2] On competence of Council, he expressed himself quite satisfied. Method of settling dispute had been agreed to by both parties and it had not been exhausted. While Security Council was talking, people in Indonesia were being killed and he would have expected president to ask for brevity in statements being made.

India claimed that situation threat to peace and security of whole of South East Asia. Republic had been as accommodating as any state could be expected to be but even a cursory glance at reports of CGO showed that other side had not behaved similarly. All that Hatta had asked was a certain limited self restraint on part of Dutch, while recognising their complete sovereignty. Only conclusion that could be drawn was that this entirely unprovoked attack had been premeditated. It could not be seriously suggested that there could be freedom of choice or elections under conditions of Dutch rule and with Republican leaders in gaol.

Solution will never be by military action. Question must be speedily solved or repercussions throughout Asia would be very great. He supported terms of draft resolution and Australian amendments.

Malik for Soviet Union, made long statement. He traced in detail earlier history of first police action and suggested that because Security Council did not then take sufficient measures as proposed by U.S.S.R. i.e. withdrawal and setting up of SC mission [3], Dutch were encouraged to further aggression. He claimed CGO was defender of Dutch colonial interests and not an impartial observer. Renville agreement further strengthened Dutch by forcing withdrawals on Republic. Even so Dutch started violating principles by fictitious plebiscites creating puppet states. SC then adopted abstract resolution obliging no one to do anything.

[4] Dutch delay and seizure of Republic documents have taken place in sight of GOC which has acted purely as screen. Question arose as to what it actually was doing and U.S. representative on Council had stated that members were busy in unofficial negotiations. Hatta letter [5] which bore all marks of capitulation to Netherlands was exhorted from him by Cochran whose activities were directed to persuading Netherlands to make more and more demands and to persuading Republic to suppress popular feelings of its own people. U.S., Australian proposals [6] were hidden from SC by CGO which represented Council only formally.

Republic had scrupulously observed truce and made excessive concessions which have been made to look like capitulations and only encouraged further unacceptable demands. All Dutch activities make it clear that they did not want agreement at all. When political negotiations started again in November Indonesia made maximum concessions but Dutch insisted on provisions which boiled down to unlimited powers for High Commissioner and command of armed forces. Republic would have been reduced to puppet. it became clear that before January first, Dutch intended to create U.S.I. without Republic and without further negotiations with it.

Dutch Government not interested in agreements and normal relations. They talked of agreements so as to hide their aggression from public opinion. On seventeenth ultimatum presented [7] and without waiting for answer attacked early on nineteenth.

Again violation of diplomatic immunities. Decree published about U.S.I. without Republic. This is defiance of U.N. Aggression is only way to describe it on information received from GOC.

Aggression unprovoked had been planned for long time. Dutch officials had not learned that it was no longer possible to impose will by force on a people who know what freedom is. Those who try to hamper progressive march of history will fail. Dutch act is a threat to peace. SC must take urgent measures to guarantee independence of Indonesia. SC must:

one condemn aggression against Indonesia.

two bring end to military activities at once.

three issue withdrawal to status quo lines order.

four establish committee of SC including all member states which would achieve cease-fire and withdrawal. Soviet will present own resolution. [8]

Re draft resolution [9] clear that act of aggression committed and it should be called that yet draft does not say who started 'renewal of military activities'. Calls upon both parties to cease fire and withdraw but this again veils substance of problem. Such demand should be addressed only to Dutch. Also final paragraph calling for report from GOC is strange because all information necessary is already here. It is not only useless but dangerous in that it gives the Dutch a chance to blur responsibility. Soviet Union will not support resolution.

1 The full text of the discussion on Indonesia in the Security Council on the afternoon of 23 December is given in United Nations, Security Council official Records, Third Year, No.133, 391st Meeting, pp.18-41.

2 See Document 449.

3 See Documents 226 and 294 in Volume XI.

4 A reference to the Security Council's resolution of 6 July (see Document 206).

5 Hatta's letter to Cochran dated 13 December (see Document 370).

6 The Critchley-Du Bois proposals (see Document 173).

7 See Document 381.

8 The Soviet Union presented its own draft resolution on 24 December. See Document 462.

9 i.e. the US, Syrian and Colombian draft resolution (see note 1 to Document 407).

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