431 Critchley to Burton

Letter BATAVIA, 10 June 1949



Aneta today announced that civilian evacuations from Jogjakarta were completed on June 9th. The total number of evacuees is given as 28,000, of whom 24,000 arrived in Semarang. (The other 4,000 dropped off somewhere along the route and can hardly be regarded as genuine evacuees.) There is little doubt that the total includes considerable numbers of persons whose homes are in other parts of Java and who have been living in Jogjakarta by force of circumstances since the first police action. Thus the total of evacuees in a strict sense, i.e. people who have left Jogjakarta because of fear of insecurity under the Republican administration, would be considerably less than 24,000.

2. In the first paragraph of the second progress report of sub- committee 1, dated 25 May (attached to 'Notes by Cutts', included with my letter [1] of 27 May), the parties agreed that 'the date for handing over authority to the Republican Government depends on the period needed for the civilian evacuations and for the military evacuation afterwards'. Under this commitment the Netherlands should, now that the civilian evacuations have been completed, immediately commence military evacuation of the Residency. However, an excuse for further delay may be found in the remains of 75 Dutch military personnel buried in Jogjakarta military cemetery. It was reported on 8 June that the Army Graves Service in Indonesia had commenced the removal of these remains which was expected to take 10 days. I have stressed with Van Royen and Lovink the necessity of an early restoration of the Republican Government. Although it is a long shot at this stage, on the basis of Van Royen's information, the military evacuation may be completed by June 20th.

3. An item in this morning's Aneta (attachment I [2]) makes it clear that the real reason for the delay is the Dutch determination to obtain agreement in the other sub-committee, on a formula regarding the cease-fire and maintenance of law and order, before restoration of the Republican Government.

4. There are reports from Jogjakarta of fighting between the TNI and communist groups operating from the Klaten area and of an operation by TNI against a small communist band in the south of the Residency. The Sultan has moved 2 battalions into the north-eastern section of the Residency to protect Jogja from the Klaten side.

5. According to the Sultan, discontent is growing among the TNI in the Residency as a result of the delay in restoring the Republican Government. There have been a number of desertions from the TNI and incidents against the Dutch may be expected to increase. The Sultan is confident, however, that, upon the withdrawal of Dutch troops from the Residency, he will have the full support of the TNI and will be able to control the situation. He has already (May 16th) ordered the TNI there to refrain from armed contact with Dutch troops except in defense of their own security. (See para 1, page 3, of my letter [3] of 14 May.) 6. It is clear that the raid on the Kepatihan, which was reported in last week's letter, was undertaken on the responsibility of Dutch Brigade Headquarters at Jogja. The reason given for the raid is that the Republicans were illegally organising a Department of Defense. It is the old story of the Dutch army refusing to recognise the existence of Republican armed forces. According to Republican sources 6 officials and 34 other persons were taken into custody during the raid. The six officials have been released, but nothing further is known regarding the 34 other persons. According to the Dutch only the 5 TNI members referred to in last week's letter [4] (para 3a) are still detained. Lists of people seeking employment in the Republican Department of Defense and the Republican Police force, which were seized during the raid, have not been returned. The Sultan has warned the people listed, and there is a report that at least two of them have been subject to further investigation.

7. The Sultan of Jogjakarta came to Batavia yesterday and will visit Bangka over the week-end. He has expressed to Van Royen and other members of the Netherlands delegation the greatest concern at the delay in restoring the Republic and at what he regards as the deliberate attempts of members of the Netherlands forces to create unrest and intimidate the local people. Details of these complaints have been included in earlier letters.

PEACE AND ORDER 8. A new draft 'cease-fire order' has been submitted by Cochran following discussions in the Commission (attachment II [5]). This is reasonably satisfactory as far as it goes, and incorporates all my main amendments. But the important issue is the drafting of the regulations governing implementation of the agreement to cease hostilities. Both parties submitted detailed comments on the Commission's draft. The Netherlands comments are attachment III [6] while the Republican comments in the form of a revised draft are attachment IV. [7] On the basis of these, and with urging's from Cochran, the parties have informally and provisionally agreed on a compromise draft, (Attachment V [8]) which attempts to find a middle way between their respective positions.

9. The Republicans were most anxious that the Joint Board should have power to make decisions in the event of lack of agreement between the parties on the zones of patrol (para 6). Van Royen was insistent, however, that the Board should have no more powers than the Commission's power of recommendation. The Netherlands, in accepting this draft provisionally, have come further than either Cochran or I expected. Nevertheless, their insistence on responsibility for maintaining law and order may yet create difficulties. There are two serious dangers in the implementation of the regulations.

(a) Mopping up actions by the Dutch military forces on the pretext of maintaining law and order.

(b) Attacks on Dutch posts by irregular Indonesian forces, and the possibility that these irregular forces will in a period of psychological unrest win over adherents from the TNI.

10. It is certain that we will have an uneasy truce and that the military situation in Indonesia will be extremely dangerous whatever agreement is reached between the parties for a cessation of hostilities. This stresses the necessity of an early conference and an early agreement on the transfer of sovereignty. In the short run the most important safeguard against trouble between the opposing forces is a strong policy by the Commission through the Central Joint Board and the local boards. Undoubtedly the most vital task of the deputies of the Commission, who will be left behind in Indonesia when the Commission goes to The Hague, will be to supervise the activities of the Joint Board and of the military observers in the field.

11. You will see that the draft regulations provide for military observers of the Commission with the local Joint Boards in each of the residencies. The Commission will therefore require a considerable increase in the number of its military observers. I have spoken to Brigadier Prior about this and as soon as requirements are clearer, will make specific recommendations. I am in complete agreement with Prior that if additional military observers are appointed they should be selected with care.

12. To sum up on the work of sub-committee 2, on 'peace and order', the civilian members of the delegations have now gone as far as possible with 3 documents covering a cessation of hostilities. Although neither side is perfectly satisfied with the draft regulations (attachment V), and both agree some further drafting will be necessary, they will make no further criticisms or suggestions at this stage but refer the drafts to their military advisers. Despite the progress made, I am afraid the Dutch may continue to hold up the Jogjakarta restoration until the Republican military advisers have shown their willingness to accept the documents.

13. There is still no word of Republican military advisers joining the delegation in Batavia. Latest reports suggest that the delay in getting Simatupang down is primarily one of communications.

When he received the request from the President to go to Batavia, he immediately set out to consult his C.-in-C., who is believed to be in the Kediri area. Simatupang is not expected back in Jogjakarta before the end of this week. I believe it should be possible to have Simatupang and one or two accompanying staff officers in Batavia during the coming week. It is also just possible that Hatta may bring one or two officers with him from Sumatra.


14. The Commission is considering inviting members of the BFO to attend future meetings of the Commission with the parties. Van Royen is stressing the desirability of an early invitation and the Republican delegation is not opposed to participation by BFO members representing areas outside the Renville boundaries of the Republic, providing this does not mean participation of the BFO as a party.

15. At a formal meeting today, the parties agreed to amendments to the rules of procedure, which will permit the Commission to invite 'representatives of areas outside the Republic' to participate in the discussions. Herremans has proved extremely difficult on this issue. In the preliminary discussions within the Commission, he attempted to insist that the BFO be invited to participate as a party, but was a minority. At today's meeting he took advantage of his position as Chairman to express his view that, after consultations between the Commission and the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman of the BFO, an invitation would be extended to the BFO to appoint a delegation to participate in the negotiations.

There would be considerable objection to inviting the BFO as such, even for simply consultative purposes. Sumatrans have so far insisted on including in the BFO delegation one representative from Tapanuli, which is not only contrary to the 7 May agreement [9] but is outside the Commission's terms of reference under the 28 January resolution. [10] It is more likely that the Commission will invite individuals, say Malik and Mansur from Sumatra, Hamid from Borneo, Anak Agung Gde Agung from East Indonesia, and Djumhana and Ateng from Java. On the other hand, if complications arise, and conflict within the BFO and Herreman's attitude indicate they could, Cochran agrees it may be better to avoid invitations to representatives of other areas altogether at this stage.

16. It is important that the Indonesians should get together and I strongly favour an all-Indonesian conference as soon as the Republicans are back in Jogjakarta. But as it is, I am personally by no means happy about BFO participation in the preliminary discussions now. We run the risk of increasing areas of disagreement and of becoming involved in internal politics which will interfere with our main tasks. Moreover, any international recognition accorded the Sumatrans, such as Mansur and Malik, may only lead to a campaign for an eventual partition of Indonesia.

You will see from papers [11] included in today's bag, (including details of the Second Sumatra Conference), that the Sumatran federalists are being aggressive and have opened a campaign for a federation of Sumatra. I have stressed all these dangers in discussions with Cochran who agrees on the need for caution.

ATTITUDE OF THE DUTCH 17. There has been a marked change in the official Dutch attitude towards the Commission. Van Royen claims his task has been made much easier by the arrival of Lovink and my own observations would bear this out. In Lovink's presence he also insisted that the Netherlands Government backed by parliament had decided to transfer sovereignty and that Holland now stood where England stood when Mountbatten was sent to India. For the first time since my arrival in Indonesia relations between the delegations are cordial.

1 Document 422.

2 Attachment I was an article in Aneta dated 10 June and entitled 'No Critical Stage in Dutch-Republican Informal Talks.' It reported the Netherlands Delegation's opinion that the Netherlands-Republican talks were progressing satisfactorily.

3 Document 399.

4 Document 428.

5 Attachment II was a draft cease-fire order dated 6 June.

6 Attachment III was 'Remarks Presented by the Netherlands Delegation on the Document Entitled "Regulations" (see note 4 to Document 428).

7 Attachment IV was a Republican Delegation draft dated 7 June on 'Regulations Governing the Implementation of the Agreement to Cease Hostilities by the Government of the Netherlands and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia' (see note 4 to Document 428).

8 Attachment V was a draft compromise between the Netherlands and Republican Delegations' position on the Regulations' governing the cease-fire (see note 4 to Document 428) 9 See Documents 376 and 385.

10 Document 168.

11 Not Published.

[AA : A1838, 401/1/2/6, ii]