277 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram UN165 NEW YORK, 4 March 1949, 12.21 p.m.



My 164. [1]

1. In a letter of 2nd March to President of Security Council notifying proposal to hold Round Table Conference at The Hague, Netherlands Representative here claimed there was 'Complete identity' between aims of Council and those of his Government which, however, mentioned fundamental objections to Council's resolution [2] of 28th January and confirmed attitude [3] formulated by Van Royen at the time.

2. The letter stated that Netherlands plan for early transfer of Sovereignty was considered 'most likely to meet with fewest possible difficulties to speediest possible realisation of independence in Indonesia'. It was not Netherlands intention to put to the proposed Conference a plan which would have to be accepted or rejected in its entirety, but the Netherlands would 'consider' on its merits any solution which might be put before the Conference and would determine how far it was compatible with its responsibility'.

3. Date of transfer would depend on wishes of all parties.

Netherlands considered it should be possible to reach agreement by 1st May after which period of six weeks would be needed for ratification by Netherlands Government. If agreement was not reached on some points, these might be covered by transitional arrangements to remain in force with mutual consent for a short period. Netherlands 'must inevitably' continue to dispose of wide powers for the time being because of their responsibility until sovereignty had been transferred.

4. Letter concluded with undertaking to assist the new State for a limited period after transfer of sovereignty but only if U.S.I.

requested such assistance.

1 Document 275.

2 Document 168.

3 See Document 172.

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