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

Cablegram UN183 BATAVIA, 10 March 1949, 11.42 p.m.



My 165. [1]

Council meeting [2] today opened with statement by Van Royen which indicated no advance in Netherlands position. Statement claimed that Netherlands and Security Council were both seeking same objective and that only difference was one of procedure.

Netherlands believed that process of transfer of sovereignty could be completed within three months given acceptance of proposed conditions for conference at The Hague. On this Netherlands 'regretted' that so far the Republic Leaders had not felt able to accept the invitation to The Hague. Therefore it was impossible for the Netherlands to meet the prior requirements of re- establishment of Republican Government at Djokjakarta for two reasons:-

(1) That the restored Republican Government could not in present conditions maintain law and order, and (2) That the restoration at this point of the Republican Government would be considered as marking a great success for the Republicans with 'Disastrous' repercussions throughout Indonesia.

Statement re-announced that Netherlands proposals for conference signified a deviation from the intention of the Security Council resolution of January [2]8th [3]; quoted cases of Palestine and Kashmir in which Security Council conclusions had been departed from with good results. Van Royen concluded with an appeal to 'Statesmanship and realism of the Council' and stated that the chief concern should be not that the Council resolution be carried out to the letter but that its aim be reached as soon as possible.

2. Philippines and Indonesia followed with prepared statement of some length. Both mentioned that it was impossible for Republic to comply with Netherlands invitation so long as Republican Government was not free to assume responsibility for decisions and so long as Netherlands continued open defiance of Security Council resolution. Palar stated that Indonesia was quite ready to consider the possibility of a round table conference to speed up transfer of sovereignty provided that the conference did not put aside the January resolution, did not reduce the functions or position of U.N.C.I. and did not alter the status of negotiation between the Republic and the Netherlands as two equal parties. He also put great emphasis on the present military position as indicated by successful guerilla activities. Philippines statement was on similar lines but added a suggestion that in the event of continued non-compliance by the Netherlands the Council should consider further courses of action open under the Charter.

3. Final statement of the day's meeting was from United States.

This pointed out that there had been practically no progress in the implementation of the January resolution and in particular that the Council had yet to see any practical results from the Dutch claim that restrictions on Republican Prisoners had been removed. The essential point was that Republic must be enabled to return to Djokjakarta to enable it to form its own decisions and assume the responsibilities which it had been exercising with concurrence of the Security Council. Any agreement in Indonesia must be between the two parties of the Netherlands on the one hand and the Republic on the other, the re-establishment of the Republic was therefore a necessary first step. If after this the two parties could agree on other conditions for the convening of a round table conference to include also the Federalists, then the United States, if the Republic was willing to participate in such a meeting, could regard a conference of the kind proposed as consistent with the January resolution. One condition would have to be that U.N.C.I. should fill the part in negotiations between the parties which was contemplated in the January resolution. If this were met then the Council should feel able to permit the Commission to participate.

4. Council adjourned until tomorrow Friday when India, Belgium and Australia are down to speak.

5. Van Royen's statement today revealed isolation of Netherlands position from undoubted general feeling of the Council but most members in private discussion seem to think that some moderation of Dutch obstinacy is not out of the question if matter is handled not too precipitately. This was the object of United States statement and the Americans are cautiously optimistic.

1 Document 277.

2 The full text of the meeting on 10 March is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Fourth Year, No. 19, 416th Meeting, pp. 1-35.

3 Document 168.

[AA : A1838, 402/6/1/1, ii]