243 Bedi to Burton

Letter CANBERRA, 24 February 1949

With reference to the situation in Indonesia, it will be remembered that the Government of India had suggested postponement of approach to the Council Members, United Kingdom Government, pending pronouncement of the policy of the Dutch Government after consultation with Dr. Beel. No comprehensive statement has yet been made, but although the Republican Leaders may be released, it seems clear that the Dutch will not comply with any other part of Council's resolution [1] of 28th January, but will try to promulgate some solution of their own with the help of Federalists.

They seem to be playing successfully upon the fear, however ill- founded, that transfer of power to Interim Government in which the Republicans have their due share will result in chaos.

As you can imagine there is growing impatience over the acquiescence of the Council in dilatory tactics of the Dutch and fear that the so-called solution on the lines indicated may be treated by the Council as an excuse for not pressing compliance with their resolution. Neither delay nor such agnostic policy will really secure solution of the Indonesian policy. As the Government of India have repeatedly pointed out the Dutch cannot win back Indonesia by force. Such military advantage as they may gain will be temporary only. Guerilla warfare will continue and the ultimate result will in all probability be emergence in Indonesia of elements far less reasonable or democratic minded than the present Republican leaders.

The Government of India fully realise the dilemma in which the United States and United Kingdom Governments find themselves, but consider it is not lack of appreciation of their difficulties, nor distrust of their good faith for India, if they point out that unless these Governments substitute for fright, persuasion and action which would ensure compliance by the Dutch with very moderate recommendation already made by the Council, their prestige no less than that of the Council will suffer greatly in the estimation of the nations of Asia.

The Government of India wish to express their views with friendly candour and solely with the desire to advance settlement. They have placed them before the U.S. Government and friendly members of the Council and U.K. Ministers.

The Government of India hope that the Commonwealth Government will give similar instructions to their Representatives since concerted effort by Government which participated in the Delhi Conference is considered essential to lift the Indonesian question from its present dangerous state of stagnation.

1 Document 168.

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