368 Department of External Affairs to Evatt

Cablegram 202 CANBERRA, 20 April 1949, 4.40 p.m.


Burton has discussed Indonesian situation with Critchley, who agrees that the best procedure is to hold off Assembly discussion until current negotiations at Batavia have had a chance. Critchley is most pessimistic about the result and believes that the threat of discussion in the Assembly is the only factor at present having helpful influence. United States representative is apparently acting under instructions not to embarrass the Dutch and the Dutch in negotiations are confident they can bargain and stall until they obtain the complete surrender of the Republic including the army. Critchley believes that there should be strong pressure put on the State Department now and at the Assembly holding them responsible for lack of progress in negotiations and encouragement of Dutch intransigence. Burton points out that while this might from some points of view be awkward for Australia, it is not nearly as awkward as the situation which will arise if the Indonesian situation deteriorates and countries of the region take enforcement action which they are now contemplating. Critchley reports that the United States representative is pressing the Republicans to accept the conference at The Hague after the agreement to release prisoners and set up capital, if such agreement is in fact implemented. Burton suggests you might have opportunity of a frank discussion with the United States representatives, warning them that if the matter comes to the Assembly without real progress at Batavia, United States' attitude would be brought into the question, not merely by ourselves but by India and others.

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