118 Working Paper for New Delhi Conference on Indonesia

Working Paper NEW DELHI, 20 January 1949



(For meeting at 6.30 p.m. on January 20, 1949.) Proposals for a Settlement of the Indonesian question, covering (1) measures to be taken immediately, and (2) measures to be taken thereafter so as to effect a long term settlement.

Under head (1) the following steps are immediately necessary and have already been recommended by the Security Council in its Resolutions of December 24 and December 28 [1], 1948, though those Resolutions have not yet been implemented by the Dutch:

(i) the cessation of hostilities:

(ii) the release of all the Republican leaders now in detention and the restoration to them of full freedom of action. (So far, of the principal Republican leaders only Dr. Sjahrir is known to have been released.) Even if these conditions are fulfilled the Republican Government cannot function effectively so long as Dutch troops remain in Republican territory. Proposals that the Dutch be called upon to withdraw their forces immediately failed of adoption in the Security Council. It is necessary now to ensure:

(iii) the withdrawal of Dutch troops from territory occupied by them since December 18, 1948.

It is understood that certain members of the Security Council have been considering a draft Resolution [2] which declares that the continued occupation of Republican territory by Dutch forces is incompatible with a just settlement of the dispute; but which contemplates only a progressive restoration of the Republican Government's administration in the territory formerly controlled by it. It appears that this restoration is to take place only after the formation of an Interim Government and that a Commission of the Security Council is to decide what areas are to be restored to Republican administration consistently with the interests of public security and what Dutch forces, if any, are to be retained temporarily in any area for the maintenance of law and order.

The Indonesians attach the highest importance to the withdrawal of the Dutch forces from Republican territory, and Dr. Hatta is reported to have informed the Committee of Good Offices which recently interviewed him that the Republic's authority must be fully restored before any further step could be taken.

A further immediate measure desired by Republican representatives who have stated their views in Delhi is (iv) the restoration of freedom of commerce and movement to and from Republican territory, which had been impeded by the Dutch blockade even during the period of negotiations.

Finally, to achieve a lasting settlement, it is necessary that (v) the parties should resume discussions for an overall political settlement under the auspices of a Committee or Commission of Good Offices appointed by the Security Council.

Under head (2), the first step necessary is, (i) the formation of an Interim Government of the United States of Indonesia. It is desirable that this should be effected at an early date, and March 15, 1949 was mentioned in the draft Security Council Resolution. The Indonesian Republicans would favour an earlier date, say March 1.

Under the Renville Agreement [3], the Provisional Federal Government was to be adequately representative of the various federating States including the Republic; and so far as the Republic was concerned its extent was to be finally determined by a plebiscite in the Islands of Java, Sumatra and Madura. Later discussions have proceeded on the assumption that the formation of a Provisional Federal Government need not be delayed pending the final delineation of the individual federating States.

Consideration will have to be given to the composition and powers of the Interim Government. The Dutch have promulgated a Decree (known as the B.I.O. Decree [4]) to cover these interim arrangements. This Decree provides for only a limited exercise of power by the Interim Government. The draft resolution referred to contemplates the grant of powers of internal government to the Interim Government. This would seem to deprive the Interim Government of direct representation in foreign countries although the Republic, which has been accorded de facto recognition by several Governments, maintains Representatives in certain countries.

During the negotiations immediately preceding the latest Dutch military action, Republican leaders suggested that the Interim Government should consist of a Council of Ministers of Indonesian nationality to be chosen by agreement between the Representative of the Dutch Crown and representatives of the Republic on the one hand and of the 'Federalists' (Non-Republican Indonesian Groups) on the other. They also laid down the following conditions:-

(a) that the Interim Government should have a national character and should be vested with concrete powers;

(b) that the Ministers should be persons with an adequate sense of responsibility and should be known throughout Indonesia;

(c) that the Interim Government should function democratically and promote the development of democracy among the peoples;

(d) that the Interim Government should eventually be responsible to a Constituent Assembly.

It should be noted here that the negotiations broke down on the refusal of the Dutch to agree that the Indonesian armed forces (as distinct from Dutch forces) should be under the control of the Interim Government and that Dutch forces could be employed for the preservation of internal security in Indonesia only with the consent of the Interim Government.

The next point under this head is (ii) the holding of elections to a Constituent Assembly, which will determine the future Constitution of the United States of Indonesia. It is necessary to suggest a date by which the elections should be completed and October 1, 1949, is proposed.

This will give a period of just over six months from the date of formation of the Interim Government for the necessary arrangements to be made. The Renville proposals, and constitutional plans prepared later, contemplated a similar period of preparation. The Indonesian representatives here suggest that the elections should be completed by June 1.

It is necessary that the elections should be free and fair, and to ensure this they should be observed and supervised by the Security Council's Commission in Indonesia. Freedom of elections cannot be achieved if Dutch troops are allowed to remain in Republican territory during the preparatory period.

Finally, it is necessary (iii) to fix a date for the transfer of power to the United States of Indonesia. January 1, 1950, is suggested. Under the Linggadjati Agreement [5] the United States of Indonesia should have come into being on January 1, 1949, but the Dutch have announced that the present situation prevented fulfilment of this programme. It is understood that one proposal under informal discussion among members of the Security Council contemplates the transfer of power by April 1, 1950. A period of nine months from the formation of the Interim Government should, however, suffice, particularly as under (ii) above it is contemplated that elections should be completed in about six months' time. A similar period of nine months was contemplated in the Cochran Plan. [6] The Indonesians have recommended that the transfer of sovereignty should take place on September 1, 1949, and that by that date all Dutch troops should withdraw from the whole of Indonesia.

1 See notes 3 and 4 to Document 31.

2 Document 86.

3 Document 22, 23 and 24 in Volume XIII.

4 See note 1 to Document 74.

5 Appendix I in Volume XI.

6 See Documents 237 and 238 in Volume XIII.

[AA : A1838, 383/1/25]