316 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K290 BATAVIA, 25 March 1949, 11.58 p.m.

The Commission met this afternoon March 25th to discuss:-

(a) request of the Council for a report on the damage to Djokjakarta.

(b) influence of the Council's directive [1] of March 23rd.

2. I sought an early visit to Djokjakarta as a basis for reply (a) and for recommendations for demilitarisation of the Republican Government. This proposal was designed to force an early decision on the restoration of the Republican Government and to strengthen the position of the Republican leaders. It was strongly opposed however, by Herremans and Cochran and as there was no possibility of obtaining support I was obliged to agree to their proposals that we should- (a) make a brief report on Djokjakarta from our present knowledge (which is that there is no material damage to the town) and (b) issue invitations to the Dutch and the Republicans at Bangka to attend a conference at Batavia next Wednesday (March 30th) to discuss the implementation of conditional resolution in the terms of the Council's March 23rd directive.

3. As Cochran visited the Republican leaders on Bangka yesterday I presume that before proposing that the Commission issue invitations to a conference he obtained an indication that the Republicans would agree to attend. Failing directions to the contrary I shall insist that the Republicans are given the opportunity of consultation with other members of their Government before attending the Conference and that the report on Djokjakarta includes reference to the removal of equipment.

4. The Commission will meet at 10.30 a.m. March 26th to approve the texts of the report on Djokjakarta and the invitations to the conference.

5. In private discussion Cochran agrees with the analysis that the situation in Indonesia is rapidly deteriorating and that the position of moderates such as Sukarno and Hatta must be strengthened as quickly as possible. He claims that in conjunction with Lacy he has informed the State Department accordingly in a most strongly worded telegram. Cochran also agrees that the restoration of the Republican Government to Djokjakarta should be the first consideration of the conference and that the Commission should report quickly if a deadlock arises on this issue.

1 See Document 312.

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