190 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K263 BATAVIA, 4 February 1949, 2 p.m.


Beel has written 3 letters to the B.F.O.:-

(a) Requesting advice as to the views of the B.F.O. Conference regarding the Security Council's resolutions [1] of 28th January.

(b) Informing the Conference that Netherlands Government considers the Republican leaders who have been approached by the B.F.O. as 'Government personalities of a Republic, the status of which will depend on the whole of the population, taking into account the principle of equality of the member states within the framework of the Republic of the United States of Indonesia'.

(c) Conveying the following information regarding the attitude of 'The Government of Indonesia' to the Republic, the conditions for a meeting with the Federalists (see my telegrams K256 and K260 [2]);

(1) The 'Government of Indonesia' is prepared to give the Republican leaders the wider opportunity to consult in full freedom at a place to be decided upon later, (2) The 'Government of Indonesia' is also prepared to facilitate 'a real interchange of views' between the Federalists and persons they may invite, and, (3) If consultations lead to the possibility of the establishment of an interim Federal Government at short notice, 'The question of general freedom of movement of those persons now under certain restrictions can be regarded in the light of the circumstances at the time.' 2. The B.F.O. at its meetings on 2nd February stalled on an answer to Beel's first letter. (It is understood that the representatives from West Borneo [3], East Sumatra [4] and Bangka [5] wanted expressed disapproval of the Council's resolution. East Indonesia [6] therefore called for the postponement of any decision, suggesting that The Hague should indicate its attitude first.) The B.F.O. has written to Soekarno and Hatta conveying the text of Beel's two other letters, renewing the invitation to a conference, and reporting agreement in principle with the contents of Beel's second letter regarding the status of the Republic.

3. The Dutch position is much less satisfactory than was anticipated in my telegram K260. Soekarno and Hatta will probably decline to take part in the talks on the conditions set out in the letter from the B.F.O. and insist on the full implementation of the Security Council's resolution. Darmasetiawan, Supomo and Sudjono are visiting Bangka (February 3rd) and may bring back a reply to this effect. The latest Dutch decisions underline what has been implied in Dutch policy since 19th December, namely, that the Republican leaders should not be released until they agree to participate in a Interim Federal Government under Dutch tutelage.

4. The Sultan of Djokjakarta has handed to the Republican Delegation a statement to be used as required explaining his position.

The statement reaffirms his loyalty to the Republic, brands as a lie, the Dutch suggestion that he is cooperating with them, and strongly attacks the recent Dutch actions in Djokjakarta.

1 Document 168.

2 Document 152 and 177.

3 L Tielenius Kruythoff.

4 T. Damrah.

5 Masjarif Gelar Lelobandahero.

6 Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung.

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