474 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K229 BATAVIA, 26 December 1948, 12.35 p.m.

IMMEDIATE CONFIDENTIAL

Committee telegraphed further report to Security Council this morning, 26th December. [1] Conclusion which is set out in my immediately following en clair telegram is not as direct as I should have liked, but it was maximum that could be achieved with support of other members and indicates that the present task of Committee is well nigh hopeless.

2. Council's last resolution [2] provides an opportunity for the Netherlands to accept decisions of the Security Council but in fact to maintain their unilateral policy. It will also put the Republican leaders in an extremely difficult position. Withdrawal of the Netherlands forces and return to old conditions of economic blockade would, following scorched earth policy, probably leave the Republic with economic problems beyond its capacity. On the other hand, the Dutch would refuse to accept withdrawal order and this would provide opportunity for stronger and more direct action by the Council in endeavour to settle the dispute.

1 The full text of the report is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Third Year, Supplement for December, PP.307-15.

2 See Document 462.

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