29 High Commission in London to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 48 LONDON, 5 January 1949, 8 p.m.



I am informed United Kingdom has pressed Netherlands Prime Minister on question of forming an Interim Government, including recognisable Republicans, to prepare for an early transfer of power. At the same time United Kingdom has insisted that the Dutch must free political leaders and enable the Committee of Good Offices, Consular Commission and Military Observers in Java to function properly, pointing out that otherwise they will do themselves even more damage with members of the United Nations and with United Kingdom public opinion.

2. United Kingdom authorities think that Hatta a[nd] other Republicans would be justified in refusing to treat with Dutch without really adequate guarantees for the future and feel that Dutch have greatly accelerated their own final departure from the N.E.I. even if preparation for the setting up of the United States of Indonesia to which powers will be transferred, proceeds satisfactorily. They feel that all Governments should continue to press the Dutch to observe the Security Council resolutions but United Kingdom is still clearly opposed to anything in the nature of actions.

3. Labour members here have been putting some pressure on the Government and criticisms from Government benches is expected when House of Commons resumes.

4. The role of the Netherlands Ambassador in London, Michiels, is not clear but he is thought to have influence with Beel and has standing in Holland, may influence public opinion regarding the work of the Prime Minister's Mission. Michiels is very conservative but probably has some appreciation of damage done by present military action to Dutch Foreign relations.

5. I understand Pakistan has suggested that meeting of Commonwealth Ministers contemplated for May in Ceylon might be brought forward in view of the new situation in South East Asia though I do not know how seriously they are taking the suggestion.

[AA : A1838, 402/8/1/1/1, ii]