457 Eaton to Burton

Memorandum BATAVIA, 21 July 1949


With reference to your telegram No. 79 [1] dated 2nd June, 1949 and previous correspondence, the present position regarding these supplies is as follows:-

After considerable trouble and difficulty I have now obtained permission for these stores to be moved from the Shipping Company's godowns at Tandjong Priok to the godowns of the Indonesian Red Cross, where the goods will be stored without further charge until distributed. I have also had the storage costs reduced to f.1000, which has been paid. However, it is advised that the only method of having the goods handed over to the Indonesian Red Cross was to have them reconsigned to myself as Consul-General and authority given to the Shipping Company to hand over the goods to a representative of the Indonesian Red Cross for subsequent distribution to the original consignees.

2. On the 20th I again interviewed Dr. de Beus, the Head of the Far Eastern Office and Dr. de Ranitz. Dr. de Beus is very anxious since his visit to Jogjakarta to have a suitable sub-division of the stores sent to the Residency of Jogjakarta urgently, but will not agree for the whole medical consignment to go to Jogjakarta for use there or for re-distribution from there to other Republican territories.

3. With regard to the textiles, Dr. de Beus agrees that the whole quantity can be sent to Jogjakarta immediately the cease-fire order is given for distribution only in the Residency. This he states is on account of the possibility of the clothing, uniform type, getting into the hands of bandits if distributed outside the Residency.

4. In conference with the Indonesian Red Cross (a Republican Organization) in Batavia, I have arranged to have a tentative sub- division of the medical stores made for both the Residency and other areas which the Republic occupied prior to the second police action. These areas may be some ten in number and in each area there is still existing a Head-Quarters of the Indonesian Red Cross to whom the supplies will be handed over for distribution to Republican hospitals in the area. If I can get agreement on this from Dr. Leimena, the Republican Minister for Health, and the Far Eastern Office, I will ask for your approval for the distribution on this basis.

5. It has been found practically impossible to obtain hospital figures as suggested in telegram No. 79 [2] dated 31st May, 1949.

6. With reference to your telegram No. 12 [3] of the 12th January, 1949, although no documents have come to hand, I have ascertained that the 59,000 plasmoquin tablets were actually received by the Dutch Central Medical Stores on the 11th January, 1949.

1 Presumably a reference to Cablegram 92, dispatched on 2 June, which replied to Pritchett's Cablegram 79 (Document 426), instructing him to proceed on the basis of paragraph 2. Cablegram 92 also requested Republican approval for the shipment of supplies held in Melbourne for distribution in Netherlands and Republican territories.

2 Document 426.

3 Not published.

[AA : A4357/2, 352/2,i]