242 Bedi to Burton

Letter CANBERRA, 24 February 1949

I have to inform you that in the course of a very appreciative letter, dated 8th February, regarding the Conference on Indonesia in New Delhi, Dr. Hatta has supplied the Prime Minister, Pandit Nehru, with the following information.

On 6th February, President Soekarno and the Foreign Minister Mr.

Hadji Salim came to Bangka for consultation with Dr. Hatta and Members of his Government in exile with him on the island. Dutch consent and co-operation in providing transportation facilities were made possible through mediation of Federal Consultation Conference (B.F.O.) formed by Governments of Dutch-sponsored Federalist Indonesian States which have taken steps to establish direct contact with Republican Government in exile.

The Republicans are aware of the fact that these activities of Federal Consultation Conference are permitted by the Dutch, because they consider them to be in the interests of their policy.

The Conference does not have it in its power to act without consent and co-operation of the Dutch Government. The Republicans have considered it helpful in pursuit of their policy to receive a deputation of Federal Consultation Conference. On 7th February, they informed the deputation that President Soekarno and Dr. Hatta were willing to receive a contract with the Commission of the Conference for preliminary conversation, making it clear that, while the Republican Government was eager to come to a full understanding with Indonesian nationals in all parts of Indonesia, they could not afford by-passing the Security Council or Conference on Indonesia recently held in New Delhi. Equally, they could not better [sic] the Indonesian-Dutch dispute to be taken out of the hands of the U.N. Commission for Indonesia.

After consultation with President Soekarno and other members and officials of the Republican Government, Dr. Hatta has suggested that it would be very helpful if application of sanction could be resorted to as a retaliatory measure and general public support for the Republican cause could be aroused and strengthened in countries which participated in the New Delhi conference.

[AA : A1838, 402/4/1/1, ii]