428 Critchley to Burton

Letter BATAVIA, 5 June 1949


The slow progress of earlier weeks has been even further retarded recently. Indeed, apart from the evacuation of civilians from the Residency of Jogjakarta, the restoration of the Republican Government at Jogjakarta has been in suspense.

2. It would be too much to say there have been major hitches, but there has been considerable delay in regard to both civil and military matters. Most important are:-

(a) Postponement of the Wonosari evacuation.

The decision to evacuate Wonosari on 30th May was a voluntary decision on the part of the Netherlands (see notes [1] by Cutts attached to last week's letter). Nevertheless, its postponement, (my K.315 [2]), could create misunderstandings. According to the Dutch, the postponement was necessary because the Sultan objects to a 'Suspension of Arms' in the Residency for a longer period than 10 days, and that consequently it is not possible to inaugurate a 'Suspension of Arms' more than ten days prior to the final date of evacuation of the whole Residency, which is not yet known. The Dutch consider that the military evacuation of Wonosari should wait until a 'Suspension of Arms' is possible, and be carried out in one operation with the evacuation of the remainder of the Residency. Civilian evacuees have, however, been cleared from the Wonosari area.

s'Jacob has also mentioned informally that one of the main reasons for the initial decision to evacuate Wonosari prior to the remainder of the Residency was that the troops there were required for covering civilian evacuations from Jogja. However, other arrangements have now been made for this.

(b) Civilian evacuations s'Jacob informed Cutts on Wednesday, 1 June, that civilian evacuations since 1 May then totalled 12,000. 1,500 were to be evacuated on 1 June, and s'Jacob hoped that the rate would be raised to 3,000 per day from 2 June. However, he remarked that, as a result of increasing tension in the town, the number of those registered for evacuation had risen to 49,000.

3. The delay in the restoration of the Republican administration has provided opportunities for incidents which, if they continue, may easily prejudice the 7 May-agreement. [3] These incidents include:-

(a) Raid at the Kepatihan Danuradjanat, Jogjakarta On 28 May, Dutch forces invaded the Kepatihan Danuradjanat, Jogjakarta, where officers of the Republican Defense Ministry and the State police Department were taking preparations, at the direction of the Sultan, for the restoration of the Republican Government. The Netherlands forces seized documents and arrested Republican officials and other persons present. Briefly the Dutch explanation of their action is that they have never given permission for the establishment of the Defense Department. They have now released all but 5 T.N.I. officers who were caught in the round up and who, according to the Dutch, had no permission to be in the town.

(b) Arrest of the Sultan's relatives Dutch troops have arrested the two brothers of the Sultan of Jogjakarta and other members of his family, allegedly for subversive activities. These arrests are likely to damage the Sultan's prestige and could therefore adversely affect a smooth transfer of authority to the Republican Government.

(c) Injury to Dr Latuharhary On 26 May a Netherlands armoured vehicle crashed into the back of the motor car in which Dr Latuharhary of the Republican delegation was a passenger. Latuharhary suffered from shock, was in hospital for a few days, but was not seriously injured. It has been suggested that the driver of the armoured vehicle was, at the very least, guilty of negligence.

(d) Intimidation of Jogjakarta residents Numbers of reports have been received from residents of Jogjakarta that members of the I.V.G. (Information Enemy Territory) have urged them to leave Jogjakarta. According to these reports the I.V.G. men have predicted chaos and disorder in Jogjakarta following the withdrawal of Dutch troops because the latter will 'release the communists and set them on the population of Jogjakarta, possibly in soldiers' uniform'. There has also been mention of a third 'police action'.

(e) Reported insults to Republican officials by Dutch officials and soldiers 4. At the request of the Republican delegation the Commission has taken up most of these matters with the Netherlands delegation. I spoke personally to Van Royen, Blom and s'Jacob and was assured that they had sent two officers to Jogjakarta, especially to smooth out the difficulties. They also said that they had dined with Roem and Leimena when the incidents in Jogjakarta were discussed in a friendly atmosphere. The Netherlands delegation took the view that the incidents were already as good as over, but this is an opinion which the Sultan of Jogjakarta and the Republican delegation do not appear to share.

5. An interesting sidelight on the return to Jogjakarta is a report of the establishment on Bangka of a 'Committee for Jogjakarta's restoration' to endeavour to get together at least half a million guilders to aid in the reconstruction. It is reported that a considerable amount of the contribution comes from well-to-do Chinese inhabitants of Bangka.

PEACE AND ORDER 6. Informal talks have continued between representatives on the 'Peace and Order' sub-committee. The Commission, with the help of its military observers, has submitted a draft of detailed regulations for the implementation of the agreement to cease hostilities (attachment I [4]). Unfortunately, Cochran and Herremans were opposed to including under paragraph 6, the specific requirement that areas of responsibility should be delineated. This means, in effect, that the draft merely delays consideration of this vital issue which, I fear, may lead to a breakdown in the talks. The Netherlands insist they will remain responsible for all areas outside the Residency of Jogjakarta. On the other hand the Republicans claim that point 7 of Van Royen's statement [5], the realities of the situation, and the importance of preserving the TNI, require delineation of areas of responsibility throughout Indonesia. They also quite rightly point out that the Security Council's directive [6] to ensure a cessation of all military activities can only be implemented if there is a clear delineation of areas of responsibility. Cochran sees the difficulties but is anxious at this stage to protect Van Royen from Army Opposition which has been particularly strong on point 7 of his 7 May statement.

7. You will also notice that in paragraph 10 of the draft regulations I have taken a minority position. The point is that since 7 May, Netherlands forces have extended their sweeping and mopping up operations, and in accordance with point 7 of Van Royen's statement, should be required to withdraw.

8. In addition to my fears regarding 'the areas of responsibility' issue, talks in sub-committee 2 are likely to be held up by the absence of a Republican military adviser. Although the Republican delegation has asked for Simatupang, he is not yet in sight.

Difficulties in the way of getting him down include lack of communications, Netherlands objections to his wearing his distinctives in Batavia, and also the complication that, strictly, his orders should come from the Commander-in-Chief who is responsible to the Emergency Government. In any event, the delay is giving rise to mutterings among the Dutch that the Republic is deliberately stalling, and that the Republican leaders do not have control of their military forces. Whatever the merits of the Republican case, it is desirable that Simatupang should come to Batavia as quickly as possible, and I have stressed this with Roem and Leimena.

REPUBLICANS TO VISIT ATJEH 9. In order to seek a solution to the difficulties which have been arising between the Emergency Government and the leaders on Bangka, some of the Republican leaders, including Hatta and Sukiman, leader of the Masjumi, propose to fly to Atjeh on Sunday, 5 June. The Commission is placing its plane at their disposal.

ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE 10. The Republicans have been upset by a statement of the Overseas Territories Minister Van Maarseveen, in the recent debate in the Dutch Upper House. Maarseveen assured the House that Dutch troops would not be withdrawn unless law and order in Indonesia were guaranteed. He explained that the Round Table Conference would make its own agenda and that besides Indonesians, Surinam and the Dutch Antilles would be represented. The Republican delegation is seeking clarification from Van Royen.

11. Van Royen and Blom seem to be sincere in their desire to begin the Round Table Conference as early as possible. Blom has been making tentative bookings at The Hague for 15 July. At the same time the present delays are disturbing and at today's Commission meeting I suggested that the Commission should consider issuing a press statement drawing attention to the difficulties which are holding up implementation of the 7 May-statements and calling on the parties to overcome them. It was agreed to defer this suggestion until the end of next week when the position will be clearer. At present the Dutch can argue that the necessary evacuation of civilians from Jogjakarta is holding everything else up.

NEW HIGH REPRESENTATIVE OF THE CROWN 12. Lovink has arrived but it is too early to judge his influence in the Indonesian dispute. Sjahrir cynically pointed out that Lovink had made a typical speech before he left The Hague. Lovink explained he was going to Indonesia to establish a new juridical order and permanent cooperation between Indonesia and the Netherlands.

13. The powers of the High Representative of the Crown were formally transferred from Beel to Lovink at a meeting of the Provisional Federal Government yesterday. The speeches of Beel and Lovink (attachment II [7]) provide an interesting contrast. The tone of Lovink's address is far more satisfactory than the sulky disgruntled note struck by Beel. But it was by no means an 'all clear for independence' speech. The emphasis Lovink laid on cooperation for the restoration of 'peace and order' and on the 'Union' is disturbing. Similarly the reminiscence of his boyhood instruction that the Dutch were in Indonesia for the Indonesians is an unfortunate example of Dutch paternalism which has plagued the negotiations from the outset.


14. The B.F.O. is anxiously awaiting an invitation to discussions with the Com- mission. It is unlikely, however, that such an invitation will be issued before the immediate outstanding problems between the Dutch and the Republicans have been solved.

15. The second Sumatra Conference concluded its session after expressing dissatisfaction with the limitations on Sumatran representation on the B.F.O. and with certain paragraphs of the 'RR statements'. Details of the resolutions of the Conference will be forwarded with the next bag. East Indonesian leaders appear to be happy that a split in the federalist organisation has been avoided.

REPUBLICAN POLITICAL ACTIVITIES 16. There has been considerable Republican political activity in the last few days with Dr. Sukiman, leader of the Masjumi, and Dr.

Sudjono Hadinoto, leader of the PNI, consulting with the leaders.

It is clear that these two groups together with such minor groups as the Republican Christian Party, will support a Sukarno-Hatta Government and the 7 May-agreement. The Chairman, Dr. Asaat, and other leading members of the KNIP (Working Committee) are confident that the Working Committee will also stand behind the Republican leaders.

17. Sjahrir and his Indonesian Socialist Party are not expected to oppose the 7 May-agreement, although they are most unlikely to come out in support of it. Their attitude appears to be strongly against appeasing the Dutch and they tend to be critical of the weakness of the present Republican delegation. They stress the importance of the Emergency Government in the present situation and appear to be planning political infiltration of the federal states.

JOHN AARIKS 18. The press has given space to some timely debunking of John Aariks as a representative of New Guinea. However, the self-styled 'political representative of Irian' has bounced back with a protest against the intention of the Dutch Government to let the status and future of New Guinea depend on consultations with Indonesian representatives. And he has claimed to have already contacted the U.N.C.I. and that 'the case of his people had its full attention'.

19. I have two main criticisms of the present situation:-

(a) The Republicans are too ready to appease both the Dutch and the State Department. They should be insisting now on satisfactory conditions for the Round Table Conference and on a cessation of Dutch mopping up operations against the T.N.I. and incidents apparently designed to intimidate and discredit Republican officials.

(b) The Commission should be exerting a more decisive influence to see that the 7 May-agreement and the Security Council's Resolution [8] are implemented promptly.

20. Van Royen has convinced Cochran and the Republican leaders that he must be given opportunities to deal with the Dutch reactionary elements in his own time. Even assuming, as I am inclined to, that Van Royen is sincere in his final overall objectives, the present trend is not satisfactory to the Republic and I agree with you that it is by no means impossible that the Dutch will continue to delay the Conference until the next session of the Assembly.

21. It is true that in recent weeks there have been changes in Indonesia which are on the credit side. Beel has gone, Schuurman is going, and new advisers are coming out who are expected to be more favourably disposed to a liberal policy than the old gang.

Spoor's death has left the reactionary Army elements for the moment leaderless. At the same time, I do not get the impression that the Dutch in Indonesia, apart from one or two exceptions, have faced up to the new situation and all the major issues dividing the parties have been delayed rather than settled. In particular I expect major difficulties on the subject of:-

(a) areas of responsibility outside the Residency of Jogjakarta and the preservation of the T.N.I. The Dutch appear to conceive of all the Republican forces outside of the Residency of Jogjakarta either taking orders from them, surrendering their arms or becoming the targets of police actions to restore law and order.

(b) the conditions for the Round Table Conference.

22. Cochran has one point in mind with which I fully agree. The important thing is the overall settlement, which requires an early Conference at The Hague.

1 See Document 422.

2 Dispatched on 30 May, it reported that the Dutch had suspended the evacauation, scheduled to take place between 28 and 30 May, of the Wonosari area.

3 See Documents 376 and 385.

4 Attachment 1 was entitled 'Regulations Governing the Implementation of the Agreement to Cease Hostilities by the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia'.

5 See Document 376.

6 See Document 312.

7 Attachment II contained Aneta reports dated 3 June of press statements by Beel and Lovink.

8 Document 168.

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