77 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram UN147 NEW YORK, 18 February 1948, 11.25 p.m.



1. The following is a summary of the debate in Security Council two meetings Tuesday and one today 18th. [1]

2. Representatives of Australia, India, Netherlands, Philippines, Republic of Indonesia and Members of the Good Offices Committee were invited to sit.

3. THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE, GRAHAM, made a long statement giving a broad historical perspective of the Netherlands Indies and Republic which included a few points bearing indirectly on the present issues viz: many difficulties remained-recognition of status of the Republic as a Party-quality of Indonesian leaders.

4. THE AUSTRALIAN MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE, JUDGE KIRBY. The Security Council should be kept fully informed in order to assist in resolving difficulties. Committee should make and publish suggestions to the Parties. The Security Council should endorse this. Disadvantages of the truce demarcation line to the Republic.

Emphasis on the fact that the truce is without prejudice and necessity for the Committee and Security Council to ensure that parties will not be prejudiced. Necessity for carrying out principle of freedom of speech without any delay. In general, the Committee's hand must be strengthened.

5. VAN KLEFFENS (NETHERLANDS). Restoration of safety and peaceful conditions was the first requisite. Some 'unruly elements who preferred unsettled social conditions' remain. The Queen's broadcast 'Colonialism is dead' quoted. [2] Political agreement will take some time to negotiate. Inhabitants must themselves decide the status of their territories-'We have not and never have had any intention of [3] new political entities, but neither do we wish to stifle popular movement reflecting what lives in the mind of the people'. Made reservation in regard to Judge Kirby's suggestion of changed procedure to effect that changes should not go so far as to change nature of Committee.

6. SASTROAMIJOJO (INDONESIA). Renville not in all respects satisfactory to the Republic but the Republic's policy is peace in accord with principles of United Nations. Desirable that the Committee have more authority. Dutch pressure, military, administrative or economic, should be removed, e.g. the blockade.

Desirable that Committee have power of supervision of plebiscites.

7. VAN ZEELAND (BELGIAN MEMBER OF COMMITTEE). Spoke mainly in platitudes of the atmosphere in which Committee worked and of paramount need for proper spirit in the further negotiations.

Recognised there would be difficulties of interpretation and implementation. Appealed to Parties to act speedily.

8. FORSYTH (AUSTRALIA).Renville principles good but no more than an approach to a just settlement. Renewed disagreements to be expected. Committee should be able to make positive suggestions which would in cases be more effective if made publicly. Desire for speed should not obscure or prejudice right of parties and aspirations of peoples. Importance of Committee's function of keeping people informed. It would be unjust and inconsistent with the Renville [Agreement] if the status of the Republic as a Party not fully preserved during negotiations. The duty of the United Nations to assure itself democratic processes in fact used in elections and plebiscites. Republic a symbol of aspirations. Its position must not be subject to attrition. It would be inconsistent with Renville to set up new States during negotiations in the very area which is the subject of the contemplated political agreement. Control of trade a most contentious issue. Desirability of resumption of trade both internal and external and necessity that rights and interests of parties be preserved in this. Foreign representation of the Republic must at some stage be adjusted to future status.

Meanwhile the ground of establishment of foreign representation remains effective. Disadvantages of the truce to the Republic and reliance of the Republic on the Security Council. Need for more positive functions for Committee.

9. LANGENHOVE (BELGIUM). Refer[red] to earlier doubts as to competence of the Security Council and emphasised the need for prudence. Australian member's suggestion of new procedure should be left to the Committee. The character of the Committee should not be changed. Referred to objectives of Article 73 of the Charter [4] and emphasised responsibility of the Netherlands.

Indonesian aspirations best realised in co-operation with Netherlands.

10. All statements on Tuesday which are summarised above approved with varying degrees of satisfaction work of Committee and Renville terms.

11. On Wednesday Gromyko (Soviet) made a long speech (about 75 minutes) criticising the Committee and Renville truce and principles. The following salient points are from rough notes subject to amplification when verbatim is available.

Dutch 'aggression' against Indonesian people. Some members of the Security Council have never intended that the Council should stop real aggression. The Consular Commission helped the Netherlands because component countries sympathised. The 'so called' Committee of Good Offices not in substance a Committee of the Security Council. The dispute is not settled at all, the report is one- sided. The Committee did not consult the Security Council and work was determined by policies of the three member Governments. The Committee failed to help the Republic when it requested assistance to end the blockade which was strangling republicans. Criticised omission from annexes of reports of observers on Madura and Rawahgedeh. [5] The Dutch used the Committee as an instrument of pressure on the Indonesians and to convey ultimatum to them. The Truce line suited the Dutch because main objectives secured. Use of military personnel as civil police confirms the Dutch claim that the attack on Indonesians was 'police action'. Political principles favourable to the Netherlands only. Adoption of the federation means that the Dutch plan has been forced on the Indonesians, the principal means of establishing Dutch domination for the future. Signature of the Agreement by Committee a betrayal of people of Indonesia done in the name of the United Nations but contradicts United Nations principles concerning dependent peoples. The result is due to United States economic interest in the Indies and the fact that Britain and France and Belgium are Colonial Powers.

Gromyko made no positive proposal at this stage but it is thought he may have in mind proposing that the Security Council set up a Commission instead of the Commission of Good Offices to handle the whole Indonesian Question.

1 The full text of the debate in these meetings is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Third Year, Nos.22-24, 247th, 248th and 249th Meetings, 17 and 18 February 1948, pp.135- 88.

2 See note 4 to Document 53.

3 A sign here indicates 'word omitted', presumably 'fomenting'.

4 Article 73 of the United Nations Charter is a declaration by members of the United Nations with responsibility for non-self- governing territories that they will promote to the utmost the well-being of the inhabitants of those territories.

5 See note 4 to Document 39.

[AA:A1838, 854/10/4/2, iv]