212 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K267 BATAVIA, 14 February 1949, 12.40 p.m.


On February 12th, the Commission visited Bangka in response to Hatta's invitation (K.266 [1], paragraph 4). Informal discussions were held regarding the Security Council's resolution [2] and the problems arising from its implementation.

2. Sukarno was permitted by the Dutch resident of Bangka [3] to visit Pangkal Pinang for the occasion (K.266 paragraph 5).

Elaborate precautions were taken by the Dutch to avoid the possibility of a demonstration.

3. In the course of conversations the Republicans declared that as implementation by the Dutch of paragraph 2 of the resolution is a condition precedent to the implementation of later parts they were not prepared to negotiate with [...] [4] or anyone else regarding the future of Indonesia until they were freed unconditionally and restored to Djokjakarta. Any conversations they might have with member of B.F.O. as a result of the latter's invitation (K.266, paragraph 2 (3)) would be purely of an informative character to clarify the Republican view to the Federalists and would not constitute negotiations in any sense.

4. The Republicans made the following suggestions for the restoration of the Republican Government.

(A) The territory of the Sultan of Djokjakarta could be initially restored to the Republican Government.

(B) The Commission might contact the Dutch and the Sultan of Djokjakarta to arrange for the restoration of the Sultan as the council head of this territory (see K.245 [5], paragraph 2 A).

(C) Civil police should then be restored under the Sultan, who would take over the responsibility for the maintenance of law and order. At the same time arrangements should be made for the withdrawal of the Dutch troops.

(D) Upon the completion of the Dutch withdrawals, arrangements for the return of the Republican Government would be made with the Sultan.

(E) The same arrangements should then be made at Bukittinggi:

(F) After its restoration, the Republican Government would need immediate advisers, practical assistance to overcome the shortages of food and fuel and deficiencies in transport and communications.

5. On February 11th, Hatta issued his first Press Statement since his internment to Issacs, of the 'News Weekly'. The statement which is strongly worded included the following points:-

(a) World reaction to the Netherlands Military action has proved to the Republicans that 'it is not yet time to give up to dark pessimism'.

(b) The Republicans stand by and accept the United Nations resolution and will do nothing to help the Dutch evade their responsibility under that resolution. The Dutch are trying to evade the resolution and must not be allowed to do so.

(c) There can be no negotiations on the future of the Republic or of Indonesia as a whole until the Republican Government has been restored at Djokjakarta and the Dutch troops withdraw from its territory as stipulated in the resolution.

(d) The Republicans do not believe in the rumoured 'plan' [6] for an early transfer of sovereignty which they regard as a trick to deceive the people of Indonesia and the United Nations.

(e) The Republicans have agreed to meet informally members of the B.F.O. contact Commission simply for the purpose answering questions and clarifying the Republicans' views. These talks will not constitute negotiations and cannot be used by the Dutch to evade the Security Council resolution.

(f) 'Any transfer of sovereignty will have to be a true transfer of sovereignty. The longer it takes to reach that point the worse it will be for the Dutch and for the Indonesian people.' 6. The Federalists have expressed the desire to proceed to Bangka on February 15th, but the Republicans have asked them to delay until two days after they have again met with the Commission including Cochran. Cochran will arrive at Batavia February 14th so the Federalists will be delayed at least until February 18th.

7. On February 8th, the Commission informed the Netherlands Delegation that it had heard informally that 'proposals of official origin' had been transmitted to B.F.O. and asked for particulars. In reply, the Netherlands Delegation has informed the Commission that proposals of official origin, if any, will be announced by or on behalf of the Netherlands Government at a time considered appropriate by the Netherlands Government.

8. No change in the Netherlands policy can be expected unless the International world and the Security Council show clearly that they are determined to oppose the Dutch intransigence. With this in mind, I am seeking strongest possible report from the Commission to the Security Council on February 15th.

1 Document 203.

2 Document 168.

3 Dr C. Lion Cachet.

4 A sign here indicates 'words apparently omitted'.

5 Document 70.

6 See note 4 to Document 199.

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