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

Cablegram UN191 NEW YORK, 14 March 1949, 12.50 p.m.



My 185. [1]

1. Council meeting today [2] inconclusive and was taken up largely with general statements by Pakistan, Egypt, Soviet Union and United Kingdom.

2. In short intervention, Palar (Indonesia) said that the Canadian suggestion was based on invalid assumptions, namely, that the intentions of the Dutch were identical with the Security Council resolution. [3] The Republic was not willing to negotiate with the Dutch without the participation of the Commission with all the powers conferred on it by the Council. No provision for such participation in any direct Indonesia-Dutch negotiation appeared in the Canadian suggestion. However, the Chinese suggestion for preliminary talks on the restoration of peace and of the Republic might be helpful in parts although the implementation of the cease-fire was not a matter for such negotiations as cease-fire had been ordered by the Council. In any case, there should be a deadline set for any preliminary talks with a view to the return of the Government at Djokjakarta.

3. Egypt stated they could agree in part with the idea of a preliminary conference, but the aim should be not to find out whether the Republic should be restored, but rather to see how quickly and effectively it could be done.

4. The Soviet Union blamed the United States for the present position. The Soviet was opposed to the participation of the Commission at the proposed Hague conference, and also saw no point in any preliminary conference as proposed by China. Security Council resolution of 28th January was very explicit. It had been violated and the Council had the duty to ensure its implementation. Any preliminary conference would only mean compromising with the aggressor.

5. United Kingdom expressed general agreement with Austin's statement [4] last week particularly that the Military forces could not be allowed to eliminate one of the parties to the dispute and that the republic must be restored as a preliminary step of final settlement with no reduction in the powers of the United Nations Commission. United Kingdom supported Canadian suggestion of preliminary talks.

6. At the conclusion of the meeting, Van Royen said he had been authorised by The Hague to state that Netherlands Government would acccept the Canadian proposal in the terms stated by MacNaughton, namely, that the proposed preliminary conference would be to agree on the time and conditions of a round table conference. The meeting would be under the auspices of U.N.C.I. and would be without prejudice to Security Council resolution.

7. I understand that the Netherlands acceptance in these terms has somewhat embarrassed the Canadians who apparently had nothing more in mind but that the preliminary conference should establish conditions for return of Republic to Djokjakarta but expressed themselves badly. My general impression is that the feeling of the Council in regard to the Canadian and Chinese suggestion last week has, to some degree, stiffened, and that if there is to be some preliminary meeting, the Council will wish to confine it simply to establishment of means enabling return of Government to Djokjakarta, possibly with the time limit as suggested by Palar.

This is also the attitude of the Indian Representative [5] who today was less enthusiastic about the proposal than he was on Friday. Am not sure as to position of the State Department, but United States Delegation also say that they think Chinese suggestion should be regarded in a restrictive way and that, if it is carried out, the Council should make it quite clear there is no question of negotiating on the return of the Republic to Djokjakarta, but only of establishing the mode of such return.

They have prepared a preliminary text of a message from the President of the Council to the Commission to this effect and are discussing it with other members of the Council with view to bringing it up at the next meeting, Wednesday. If possible, will telegraph text tomorrow. Speakers down for Wednesday meeting are France, Norway, China and Australia. Meanwhile, I have used line in your telegram 142 [6] extensively in private discussions. It is fairly evident at present that majority of Council will favour some step in the direction of Canadian-Chinese suggestion.

1 Document 293.

2 The full text of this meeting is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Fourth Year, No.21, 418th Meeting, pp.1-25.

3 Document 168.

4 See paragraph 3 of Document 290.

5 B.R. Sen.

6 Document 295.

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