449 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram 325 CANBERRA, 28 June 1949


Your UN379 [1]. Indonesia.

We have sought Critchley's views on chairmanship of round table conference. He believes chairmanship by the Commission would be extremely helpful but is not vital. Republicans are anxious that the Commission should preside, but it now seems likely that they will not insist on this beyond pressing for it when rules of procedure are being considered at The Hague. (Draft conditions [2] for the R.T.C., as agreed upon both parties at Batavia on 22nd June, provide that the conference itself will decide upon its rules of procedure.) Critchley believes that in practice it would now be difficult to make any conference arrangements which would take the responsibility for the conference away from the Netherlands.

However, it appears that the Dutch have suggested that, while the Netherlands should preside at the Plenary Sessions, chairmanship of committees and sub-committees should rotate or be given to experienced participants. Critchley considers that the Commission should preside at meetings of the Steering Committee which will be the key committee in the work of the conference. The Commission will have the right at any time to call meetings of the parties concurrently with the holding of the conference.

Reference Palar's second point about Dutch insistence on conditions of cease-fire before restoration of the Republican Government at Djokjakarta, you will be aware that this difficulty was resolved by compromise.

1 See Document 446.

2 See Document 445.

[AA : A1838, 401/3/1/1, vi]