467 Quinn to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 118 THE HAGUE, 9 August 1949, 6.10 p.m.

IMPORTANT CONFIDENTIAL

Saw Van der Wijck, Head of the Political Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on August 9th to ascertain the position regarding the opening date of R.T.C. in the light of your comments.

2. Van der Wijck stated that it was still not possible to fix the date but that it was expected that 'serious talking' would have begun by the end of the month. In reply to a question regarding the accuracy of a press report giving the 22nd as the opening date, he said that this date could not be but it appeared at present to be too early.

3. He gave as reasons for the postponement, the fact that time had to be allowed for all delegates to arrive. (He stated that Hatta, now in New Delhi, was also going to London), second 'acclimatise themselves', in addition the Netherlands Government had to prepare questions of the implementation of the cease-fire and the debate on the cease-fire to be held on August 15th. [1] The Government realised the danger of irresponsible comments during this debate and would use its influence as far as possible to prevent remarks likely to offend the Indonesians now in the Netherlands.

4. He replied to a question about the possibility of definite conclusions before the Assembly by stating that he thought that tangible progress would have been made in more than three weeks of discussion which should have taken place by then. An attempt would be made to have the whole conference completed within six weeks after commencement.

5. He concluded by a reference to the optimism about the chances of success shared by all parties.

1 The previous sentence was presumably corrupted in transmission.

[AA : A1838, TS45/1/4/5, i]