272 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K280 BATAVIA, 4 March 1949, 7.45 p.m.


The B.F.O. Contact Committee and the Republicans from Batavia visited the Republican leaders at Bangka on 2nd March and returned on 3rd March.

2. The Contact Committee and the Republicans informally agreed on Bangka that:

(a) The Republican Government should be restored at Djokjakarta to act freely as a Government in the territory of Djokjakarta in accordance with the Security Council's resolutions. [1]

(b) The Round Table Conference should not prejudice the position of the Commission as decided by the resolution. Subject to these conditions, Sukarno and Hatta will endeavour to convince the Republican Government that, immediately following restoration, it should issue a cease-fire order for the whole of Indonesia. The Republican Government might then accept the invitation to the Round Table Conference.

3. The confederation understood that, following the restoration of the Republican Government, informal discussions should be held with the B.F.O. to determine the conditions for attending the Round Table Conference. These discussions would cover:-

(a) The parties to participate at the Conference.

(b) The chairmanship.

(c) The need for a plan agreed on in advance by the Republicans and the B.F.O. for a solution to the dispute.

4. The Republicans believe the Contact Committee is in agreement that the Round Table Conference should be limited to 3 parties, Netherlands, Republicans and the B.F.O. and that the chairmanship should not be retained by a Netherlands Minister.

5. Sukarno has replied to-day to Beel's invitation (K274 [2]) indicating that he personally finds the idea of an early and unconditional transfer of full sovereignty to U.S.I. an attractive one, and that without prejudice to the Commission's position under the 28th January resolution, he agrees in principle with the proposal for a Conference. However, he has made it clear that, under the present conditions, he is unable to take an official decision to attend the Conference or to send a delegation and that such responsibility can only be assumed by the Government of the Republic actually exercising authority in Djokjakarta.

1 Document 168.

2 Document 247. The full text of the letter dated 4 March from Sukarno concerning the invitation from the Netherlands to attend a Round Table Conference at the Hague in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Fourth Year, Supplement for March, pp.30-1.

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