156 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K257 BATAVIA, 25 January 1949, 12.30 p.m.

CONFIDENTIAL

On January 23rd, the Territorial Commander [1] of West Java ordered the arrest of four Republican supporters in the Pasundan, two or them elected members of the Pasundan Parliament. One of the latter is Sujoso who led the Republic supporters in the third West Java Conference and has since been Leader of the 'Indonesian Party' in Parliament.

2. Following the arrests, the Territorial Commander issued a proclamation containing the following points:-

(a) 'A state of war and siege' still exists in the Pasundan which means that responsibility for the maintenance of order and security rests with the Military Commander.

(b) This authority has so far been exercised leniently but as order and security have deteriorated rather than progressed and as disturbing influences are again active, the Military Commander has been obliged to order some arrests.

(c) The Government of the Pasundan and Indonesian officials are called upon to assist the Military Commander so that he need not intervene more than necessary.

3. When the arrests were made the Pasundan Prime Minister [2] was absent at Bangka (my telegram K.256 [3]). In his absence six of the seven other members of the Cabinet resigned. The Dutch issued today a belated official report that the Ministers resigned because 'they could not [4] with the urgent programme of Premier Djumhana'.

1 Major-General E. Engles.

2 Djumhana Wiraatmadja.

3 Document 152.

4 A sign here denotes mutilated characters but without explanation. The word 'agree' is presumably missing.

[AA : A1838, 403/2/3/2, iii]