288 Hill to Tange

Minute CANBERRA, 10 March 1949


It was reported in the A.B.C. News session this morning that the proposed conference at The Hague has been postponed indefinitely because of the refusal of the Indonesians to attend. The postponement of the Conference has obviously been caused by the attitude of both Federalists and Republicans both of whom have stated that they would attend only on certain conditions.

The attitude of the Federalists has been fairly strongly pro- Republican as indicated in telegrams K280 and K281 [1] from Critchley where he reported two conditions on which the Federalists would attend the Conference. These conditions are:

(i) the restoration of the Republican Government in Djokjakarta;

(ii) that the conference should not prejudice the position of the United Nations Commission for Indonesia;

Final Dutch action will in all probability depend on three or four factors. These factors are:

(i) the attitude of the Federalists who to a certain extent hold the key to the ultimate fate of Indonesia.

(ii) The attitude of the Republicans and the extent of guerrilla opposition to Dutch occupation.

(iii) The attitude of the Security Council and more particularly individual members of the Council such as the United States.

(iv) The attitude of other members of the United Nations, in particular the Delhi Conference powers.

Federalist opposition must have been a severe blow to the Dutch who have obviously relied on Federalist co-operation for the implementation of their policy.

The postponement of The Hague Conference opens up a new situation in the Security Council. If positive action is taken by the Council and diplomatically, to exert further pressure on the Dutch, they might be compelled to meet the Indonesian demands and to implement the Security Council resolution [2] of January 28th.

It might be opportune at this stage to send further cables to Commonwealth Relations Office, Washington and New York emphasising the desirability of maintaining pressure on the Dutch.

1 Documents 272 and 279.

2 Document 168.

[AA : A1838, 854/10/4/3, iv]