210 Quinn to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram Hag21 THE HAGUE, 12 February 1949, 2.03 p.m.

RESTRICTED

The resignation of Sassen as Minister for Overseas Territories is the culmination of a series of protracted and unsatisfactory Cabinet meetings. There has been a growing impatience expressed in the press at the Government's indecision in face of the anxiety at Batavia and pressure from the Federalists for a definition of its position. The question is now being posed whether Beel will resign in Sassen's wake.

2. The text of the unofficial communique issued by the Ministry of Overseas Territories late last night has been transmitted in clear. [1]

3. The Prime Minister and Stikker appear, for the time being at least, to have won the trial of strength in the Cabinet. The standpoint of Romme and other leading members, influential in Roman Catholic People's Party, has not yet been defined. As, however, Van Maarseveen of that Party is forecast in the press as Sassen's successor, it seems that the dangerous collapse of Cabinet, which the Catholic defection would entail, is likely to be averted.

1 Document 209.

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