378 Department of External Affairs to Beasley and Hood

Cablegrams 1912, 227 CANBERRA, 6 May 1949, 5.25 p.m.



Situation in Indonesia will be discussed by the Assembly early next week. It is desired that you follow up the remarks made by the Prime Minister at the recent conference [1] and discuss with United Kingdom authorities attitude which might be adopted at the forthcoming Assembly meeting.

The present position will be known to the Foreign Office. The current negotiations are still completely informal and non- committal and certain proposals were put forward to the Dutch by Cochran which he believed went as far as was possible to expect the Republican delegation to go. He received the Netherlands response during the last few days which was almost a complete rejection and was considerably upset at the Dutch attitude.

However, a revised proposal is now being discussed and the reaction of both parties should be known by early next week. (See my telegram [2] No. 224 New York No. 1913 to London.) The matter is on the agenda for the Assembly and has not yet been discussed up to date in order that the current negotiations at Batavia would be given every chance of success. We believe that by the time discussion commences it may no longer be said that Assembly discussion will prejudice these negotiations and we hope, therefore, that the United Kingdom Government and the United States Government acting together will use whatever political or other means might be available to them to bring the Dutch to adopt a realistic attitude so that the matter might be settled prior to the adjournment of this present Assembly.

At the Prime Ministers' conference our view on the effect of this situation on South East Asia generally was clearly stated and we regard it as most important from the point of view of the interest of Commonwealth countries in this area that a definite basis of settlement should be established at this current Assembly meeting.

We should be glad to have any comments which the United Kingdom authorities might wish to make. Our representatives at New York will be in close touch with representatives of other members of the Commission.

1 i.e. the British Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference held in London between 22 and 28 April.

2 Dispatched on 6 May, it Conveyed the text of Document 376.

[AA : A1838, 402/8/1/1/1, ii]