192 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K265 BATAVIA, 4 February 1949, 5.45 p.m.


Koets, the Political Adviser to Beel and 'Chef de Cabinet' of the Government of Indonesia arranged an informal talk with Leimena. In the course of discussions, Koets expressed the following views:-

(a) As Leimena had predicted to Koets some months ago, the military action had brought chaos to Indonesia;

(b) The return of the Republican Government to Djokjakarta was out of the question because the Dutch feared the propaganda of Soekarno and Hatta;

(c) The Netherlands Government can, therefore, only accept some points of the Security Council's resolution [1];

(d) Inspired by the B.F.O., a new question was arising as to whether the transfer of sovereignty to the United States of Indonesia should not take place within a very short time.

2. Queried by Leimena on the new suggestion for an early transfer of sovereignty, Koets indicated that:

(a) Sovereignty might be transferred by May or June, (b) There was no detailed programme in mind, (c) Details for the interim period could be discussed with the B.F.O.

3. This report of the discussions confirms that the Netherlands:

(1) Will not release the Republican leaders unconditionally, (2) Will endeavour to bypass the Security Council's resolution with generalisations designed to create the impression that a liberal policy is being followed with the full approval of 'most Indonesians' (i.e. the Federalists), (3) Will endeavour on this basis to delay further consideration of the resolution, (4) Has no concrete proposals for the immediate future.

4. The present difficulties confirm that the basic Netherlands objections to the Republic has always been that it is a political organisation which they did not create and cannot control. Their policy has been to destroy it and create a new political structure of their own.

1 Document 168.

[AA : A1838, 403/3/1/1, xxi]