437 Department of External Affairs to Critchley

Cablegram 96 CANBERRA, 17 June 1949, 9.40 a.m.

RESTRICTED

We have a report from London that a Netherlands official has mentioned to the Foreign Office that The Hague conference is not expected to start before September. The official was told that in the United Kingdom view this was too late and that it should begin in August at the latest and should not coincide with the United Nations Assembly.

We are pointing out to London that according to latest reports from Batavia there should be no necessity to delay opening of conference beyond July, and that the object should be to persuade the Netherlands Government that it should in its own interest have something positive to show by the time the Assembly meets if it hopes to escape further attacks.

Glad of your comments in the light of present position.

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