11 Bedi to Chifley

Letter CANBERRA, 4 January 1949

I have been directed to convey the invitation of the Indian Government to a Conference to your Government. The text is as follows:-

'The Security Council has now been adjourned to January 6th, without taking any action on what is tantamount to Dutch refusal to comply even with inadequate resolutions adopted so far. While written communication by like-minded Asian Governments in terms suggested in telegram No. 1120 [1] of December 30th, will be useful, Government of India feel that continued Dutch intransigence is more than a mere possibility. It would greatly help Indonesia's cause if interested Asian Governments were to consider among themselves actively and as soon as possible what action they should take to help Security Council to deal effectively with Dutch persistence in the defiance or evasion of proposals for the prompt and just settlement of Indonesian problem. Consultation among permanent delegates to U.N. of Asian countries interested goes some of the way towards concerted approach to the problem.

Policy, however, cannot be determined in New York by permanent delegates but only by responsible Ministers. It is therefore suggested that a Conference at Ministerial level with representatives of Governments of Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, China, Burma, Siam, Ceylon and Pakistan should meet at a convenient place in Asia as soon as possible to discuss ways and means of dealing with Indonesian issue. The Government of India would be glad to act as host to the proposed Conference in New Delhi. In view of the urgency of the matter they suggest that the Conference should meet on 10th or 16th January. They sincerely hope that the Governments named above will respond favourably to the suggestion. The Government of India will be very glad if the Australian Government will participate in the Conference.

They wish to re-emphasise that the Conference is not designed to supersede in any way the activities of Security Council but only to lend the Council support on the basis of united understanding among themselves.'

An early reply to the invitation is requested.

1 See Document 504 in Document XIII.

[AA : A1838, 854/10/4/5]