2 Kevin to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 3 NEW DELHI, 2 January 1949, 8 p.m.


There has been some difficulty in accurately forecasting the agenda of the proposed Asian conference. Soedarsono believes it will be determined by the feeling of the delegates present, but that the Conference when together will aim at (a) condemnation of the Dutch action, (b) an agreement to take definitive measures such as economic sanctions, and (c) proposals to the Security Council regarding ultimate settlement. This broadly corresponds with K.P.S. Menon's idea earlier this weekend, although he did not mention (c). Bajpai, who speaks with greatest authority, told us tonight that quote there will be an exchange of views here and the agenda will be worked out on the spot unquote.

Apart from Australia and New Zealand (invited through London) the invitations are understood now to embrace 13 countries in all including the Lebanon, the Hedjaz, Iran and Iraq. No acceptances have yet arrived.

Soedarsono expressed today the hope that Dr. Evatt would attend suggesting, notwithstanding the cease-fire in Kashmir, that Australian participation at this level would overcome any possibility of rivalry as between India and Pakistan. There is nothing before us which suggests that much rivalry will necessarily emerge.

[AA : A5009/2, A7/3/13, ii]