440 Critchley to Burton

Letter BATAVIA, 17 June 1949


With the completion of the evacuation of remains from the Dutch military cemetery in Jogjakarta on June 14th, there is nothing to prevent the immediate restoration of the Republican Government.

However, the Netherlands delegation, while agreeing that a cease- hostilities order will only be issued after the Republican Government is returned to Jogjakarta, is clinging to the argument that there must be a published agreement, regarding the terms of the order and its implementation, before the restoration.

2. On the other hand the Republicans point out that this argument is not supported by any of the documents, and that the Republican delegation has from the outset consistently maintained, in conformity with Security Council opinion, that decisions could only be taken after their Government has assembled freely.

Republicans have also, quite reasonably, pointed out that to decide on the cease-hostilities agreement now and thus present their Government and the TNI with a fait accompli would seriously weaken the position of the Republican leaders and greatly reduce the chances of implementing an agreement.

3. For some time it appeared as if a deadlock would ensue.

Although the matter has not been discussed formally, I feel sure that the Commission (at least by a majority) would support the Republican position. Van Royen is aware of this. Consequently, he has been ready to look for a compromise but has been embarrassed by the die-hard views of the army and some of the civilian advisers (such as Gieben). The latter have been quick to argue that the failure of the TNI officers to come to Batavia exemplifies the lack of control by Republican leaders over the army. In my opinion this argument is not justified. The TNI will not take part in the negotiations until the Republican Government is operating freely in Jogjakarta and regular consultation between the Government and the TNI command is possible. For example, Simatupang undoubtedly feels that, particularly in view of his leading part in the TNI evacuations after Renville, he should not take an individual responsibility for the cease-hostilities agreement now. If the TNI are properly consulted before an agreement, and if the agreement adequately safeguards the existence of the TNI, there should be no major problem between the army and the Government. General Sudirman has as good as said as much in a private letter to President Sukarno. As late as 17 June the Netherlands delegation has officially stated that Republican military advisers will be free to wear their uniforms in travelling to Batavia and during their sojourn in the town. This is clearly designed to defend the delegation against any charges of responsibility for delay.

4. As I mentioned in my telegram No. K.317 [1], Van Royen has also been concerned at the task of explaining to the Netherlands Government why (contrary to their expectations) there will be no agreement prior to the restoration of the Republic in Jogjakarta.

It is surprising that the Netherlands Government should have been misled on this point.

5. It was to help Van Royen that Cochran made his compromise proposal that Hatta should write a personal letter to Van Royen confirming the principles included in the three cease-hostilities documents already agreed upon by the delegations. The Republican delegation is not opposed to the compromise and is consulting Sukarno and Hatta at Bangka today. Meanwhile Van Royen is explaining the situation and seeking instructions from The Hague.

6. Incidentally, the Netherlands army authorities made a typical effort to create further difficulties on the cease-hostilities documents. On military advice the Netherlands delegation submitted on Wednesday evening, 15 June, revised drafts of the three documents. Revisions proposed for the cease-hostilities order and the proclamation, which mainly stressed cooperation for the maintenance for peace and order, were reasonable and have been incorporated in a modified form. However, the revisions proposed for the regulations for the implementation of the cease- hostilities agreement (attachment I [2]), were entirely unacceptable to the Republican delegation and the Commission. In any event, the unsatisfactory sections of these proposed revisions have been thrown out and only minor amendments accepted. It might be reasonably conjectured that Van Royen only submitted the revised drafts to appease the military advisers and Gieben.

7. In view of the decisive stage reached I am enclosing with this letter a complete set of the latest documents ( Attachment II

(a) the draft cease-hostilities order, (b) the draft proclamation, (c) the draft regulations for the implementation of the cease- hostilities agreement, (d) the draft of the confidential letter from Hatta to Van Royen, (e) the draft of Van Royen's acknowledgment, (f) a draft proposal that a Netherlands-Indonesian manual [4] for military cooperation be compiled which would supplement the three draft documents on cease hostilities.

The proposed manual (f) is designed to incorporate the military details which would otherwise clutter up the three basic documents.

8. It is most unfortunate that there has been so long a delay in restoring the Government at Jogjakarta. The longer this continues the more difficult will be the eventual task of the Republican Government. There is also a danger of entering a vicious circle.

Delays create mis-understanding among the local population and strengthen the arguments of the Indonesian groups opposed to compromise with the Dutch. On the other hand the greater the activity of the non-cooperating groups, the more necessary it is in the opinion of the Netherlands to maintain Dutch control. One of the tragedies of the Indonesian dispute is that Netherlands activities against the Republic create the main Dutch argument for the continuation of those activities. And how much easier it would have been to reach an overall settlement if there had been no second police action.

9. Sjahrir has adequately summed up: 'The situation is not yet critical but is nearing a dangerous phase.' It is therefore essential that international pressure should be exerted to see that the Republican Government is restored and the R.T.C. held without delay.


10. The documents forwarded in the bag include a copy of the invitation [5] addressed to the Chairman of the B.F.O. to select representatives of areas outside the Republic to meet with the Commission. This invitation followed informal discussions between the Commission and the Chairman of the B.F.O., Sultan Hamid, and the Vice-Chairman, Anak Agung Gde Agung. The Commission proposed to invite the representatives individually but Hamid insisted he should be permitted to select them. Eventually, to compromise, it was agreed that the individuals chosen by the B.F.O. should be cleared in advance with the Commission. The Commission made it clear that it would retain a right of veto and would not accept representatives from areas outside Republican territory under the Renville agreement [6], such as the proposed representative Abbas from Tapanuli. Discussions with Hamid, who is not as politically mature as the Republicans, was a reminder that the B.F.O. may not be easy to deal with. However, the Commission intends to select carefully the meetings and discussions to which the federalists will be invited and the latter will not have an opportunity to interfere with the agreements which have already been reached for a cessation of hostilities. As already reported, the Republicans expect the B.F.O. (apart from the Sumatrans) to help them against the Netherlands. Rivai, from South Borneo, has told me in personal discussions, that outside the capital of Bandjermasin, Republican marine forces are exerting widespread control and that these forces are unlikely to obey a cease-fire order unless representatives of the UNCI (i.e. military observers) observe its implementation in Borneo.

11. The difficulties between the Sumatrans and the other members of the B.F.O.

continue to cloud the political future of the federalist organisation. The tactics of Hamid and Anak Agung Gde Agung will probably be to avoid decision on the resolutions of the Second Sumatran Conference as long as possible in the hope that the R.T.C. will be called before there is a show down. Translations of the 5 Sumatran resolutions are enclosed as attachment III. [7]

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

1 Document 436.

2 Attachment I was a Netherlands draft dated 15 June of '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'.

3 Not published.

4 This was a draft of the manual for military cooperation, the text of which is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Fourth Year, Special Supplement No. 5, pp.62-9.

5 See Document 431.

6 See Document 22, 23 and in Volume XIII.

7 attachment III coveyed the text of the 'Resolutions of the Second Sumatra Conference'.

[3]). These are: