360 High Commission in New Delhi to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 281 NEW DELHI, 13 April 1949, 6.50 p.m.



Our 282. [1]

Representatives of Australia, India, Siam, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, China, Ceylon, Burma and Afghanistan met this morning under the Chairmanship of Nehru.

2. Despite Bajpai's assurances before-hand that discussions would be informal, we were confronted at the outset with an Indian draft resolution [2], the text of which is forwarded separately.

Discussion was not prolonged nor were the views put forward by the different representatives either well informed or taken all round, very pronounced. Nobody except the Indians appeared ready or able to offer much of a lead but all favoured Bajpai's draft which they accepted.

3. Apart from the phrasing of the first part of the draft, we saw no advantages in adopting the second part which deals with Economic sanctions against the Dutch (although not really definitive) and denial of transit facilities. We explained that we had anticipated merely an exchange of views and had not come prepared to discuss a draft resolution. We said that in the absence of instructions we were not in a position to associate ourselves with it. We would, however, convey the views of the meeting to the Australian Government along with our own views, which were in conformity with the general tone of the meeting.

4. The question of financial aid was then discussed, Maramis's letter [3] being used as a basis. Nobody had any clear ideas on this subject except ourselves who relied on your telegram 165. [4] This approach was readily seized upon by all present, Bajpai describing it as a helpful expose. Nehru agreed that the Dutch were primarily responsible for facilities. Both he and Bajpai seemed to be relieved of the embarrassment which Maramis's request for a loan has probably created for them (incidentally Thakin Nu was present) and Nehru suggested that representatives at the meeting should consider at leisure Maramis's letter in the light of the Australian views. No resolution was considered necessary.

Bajpai said to the meeting that any loan would be the responsibility of the major Powers as well as those sitting around the table. He thought Indonesian Government needs should be brought to the notice of the Security Council but the means of doing this were not explored at any length.

5. Winding up the meeting, the Prime Minister said that the Indonesian problem was dragging on. In the context of other happenings, Java was a danger zone from which anything might happen and he thought all responsible Governments should take a strong line in the matter. Bajpai had earlier quoted his Consul- General in Batavia as saying that Critchley believes that only the Republican forces can cope with the Communists.

6. Bajpai also brought up a draft press communique. This was rather too descriptive and we had it cut down. As it now stands, it is innocuous. Nehru considered a release necessary to avoid undue conjecture by the Press.

7. Full report follows by air mail.

1 Document 361.

2 See Document 357.

3 See Document 344.

4 Document 355.

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