459 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K332 BATAVIA, 21 July 1949, 5.35 p.m.


The inter-Indonesian conference opened in Djokjakarta yesterday July 20th in a most favourable atmosphere. The conference will adjourn on July 23rd and reassemble at the end of the month in Batavia. The Batavia session is only expected to last a few days after which the parties will be ready to proceed to The Hague.

2. The Hague conference will not begin on August 1st as planned.

The most likely date at present is August 15th.

3. At Sukarno's invitation, Van Royen and members of the Netherlands Delegation visited Djokjakarta on July 17th returning the following day. Van Royen expressed general satisfaction with the way things were proceeding in Djokjakarta but concern at the delays in implementing a cease-hostilities order and at the possibility that these delays might have serious political consequence in Holland.

4. At the request of Van Royen and Hatta the Commission went to Djokjakarta on July 20th for informal talks with the Republican leaders on a cessation of hostilities. These talks were highly satisfactory. The Republican Defence Council is meeting on July 21st and the Republican Delegation will have its final detailed proposals regarding the implementation of an order ready by the beginning of next week. There is no doubt but that the Republican Government accepts the principles for a cease-hostilities as recommended by Hatta and that T.N.I. will follow the instructions of the Government. There may be difficulties however on points of detail. The main objection of T.N.I. will be against recognising the Dutch advance since May 7th. [1]

5. It is now agreed that the Commission and a small Netherlands Delegation under Van Royen will proceed to Djokjakarta for informal talks beginning on July 24th. It is the Commission's intention to remain in Djokjakarta until there is an agreement for a cessation of hostilities. This agreement would be formalised later in Batavia.

6. Notwithstanding the satisfactory developments in Djokjakarta Van Royen is extremely nervy and worried. He has given no explanation but his concern may be due to unfavourable trends in Holland. His touchiness was manifested by a special request that the Commission should not take senior military observers to Djokjakarta on July 24th for the cease-hostilities talks, lest the talks appear formal. As a compromise, the Commission has agreed that the Military advisers will not travel with the Commission, but follow on July 26th.

7. Sukarno has drawn attention to the absence of satisfactory radio facilities in Djokjakarta (K330 [2]) and has personally asked the Commission to press the Dutch for the restoration of a suitable transmitter. This is being done informally.

1 A sign here indicates 'corrupt group'.

2 Dispatched on 14 July, it advised that the Republicans were in urgent need of a radio transmitter and that an old 'P.M.G.' model would be satisfactory to them.

[AA : A1838, 403/2/3/2, iv]