404 Department of External Affairs to Pritchett

Cablegram 87 CANBERRA, 17 May 1949, 1.56 p.m.

Our 85. [1]

1. We have sought views of the Indian Government which holds to the principle that the Dutch should provide the necessary assistance. India considers that if assistance is not forthcoming from the Dutch the Security Council might perhaps be able to arrange for essential facilities to be made available from United Nations Administration stocks.

Procedurally this would have difficulties but it is possible that the Secretary-General might agree to draw on the Capital Fund with the endorsement of the Security Council. Because of the precedent it would create, however, it may be difficult to arrange assistance through this means and it is quite clear that pressure should be maintained on the Dutch.

2. In connection with your 72 [2], please proceed as indicated in your paragraph 1. You should also re-open discussions concerning scholarships. An indication through you from the Republicans to the effect that they would welcome immediate shipment of thefurther supplies allocated by Australia for Indonesia under the Australian - South-East Asia programme would enable us to move as soon as shipping is available the goods stored in Melbourne for the Dutch and Republicans.

3. For your information, we are examining possibilities of supplying some office materials of the kind listed by the Republicans but will await the outcome of negotiations with the Dutch before considering increasing the Australian contribution in this connection.

1 Document 398 2 Dispatched on 10 May, it suggested in paragraph 1 that the Republican Government was best able to distribute Australian relief supplies in its former territories and asked in paragraph 2 whether the Department of External Affairs wished Pritchett to resume discussions on the scholarships arrangements.

[AA : A1838, 401/3/10/3]