321 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K29[2] BATAVIA, 28 March 1949, 10.20 p.m.

IMPORTANT RESTRICTED

At the invitation of Republican Leaders, the Commission visited Bangka today to clarify its suggestion of discussions in Batavia (K290 [1]).

2. Cochran expressed the personal hope that both parties would accept this suggestion unconditionally. While agreeing that the Republicans cannot be expected to make binding decisions prior to the restoration of Djokjakarta, he hoped that they will be prepared to discuss all matters referred to in the Council's directive [2] of March 23rd. He considers that they might either:-

(a) Enter into tentative agreements regarding a cease-fire order and participation in a round table conference subject to confirmation after their re-establishment as a Government in Djokjakarta or;

(b) If the Dutch can be persuaded to restore the Republican Government, probably discuss the political issues simultaneously with the actual process of the restoration.

3. Herremans expressed personal agreement with Cochran and stressed the need for early decisions to hold a round table conference at The Hague 'as contemplated in the Security Council directive'.

4. The Republican Leaders find the invitation to a conference embarrassing. Hatta is anxious to avoid opposing the Americans but feels that acceptance of the invitation prior to any decision on the restoration of the Republican Government at Djokjakarta, will not only lead to further delay but will also be likely to have serious repercussions in the interior and among the Republicans in general.

5. The Republican Leaders have requested the Commission to arrange for Djuanda, Laoh, Kusnan and Halim now at Djokjakarta to visit them as soon as possible. They have also sent a message to Maramis at New Delhi to ascertain the reaction of the Indian Government and of other 'New Delhi Conference' powers to the latest developments. They are unlikely to reply to the Commission's invitation until they have consultedthe Leaders from Djokjakarta, received a reply from Maramis, and know officially the Netherlands' reaction to the invitation. They expect the latter to be a conditional acceptance. There is now no possibility of commencing discussions by March 30th.

6. Dutch officials here are stressing the importance of the Federalists participating in any discussions and the interest of the Federalists in the question of the restoration of Djokjakarta.

I believe that Cochran will agree that the B.F.O. should participate only when this is considered appropriate by the Commission and only with the approval of the two parties to the dispute.

1 Document 316.

2 See Document 312.

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