472 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram C2 THE HAGUE, 16 August 1949, 9.55 p.m.


At today's informal meeting (my telegram C1 [1]), there was an initial difference of opinion on the chairmanship of the Steering Committee. The Netherlands delegation proposed that the chair should rotate among the three Participants-the Netherlands, the Republic, and the B.F.O. The Republican delegation suggested that representatives of the U.N.C.I. should chair the committee whereas the Netherlands would countermand [2] the plenary sessions of the conference and the three Participants would chair various other committees. The B.F.O. supported the Netherlands Delegation.

2. It was then agreed that a sub-committee consisting of one representative of each Participant should consider the draft rules of procedure prepared by each delegation and if unsatisfactory agree on a radical consolidation to be recommended to a second informal meeting on Thursday August 18th. Van Royen, Roem, Anak Agung Gde Agu[ng] and Cochran as chairman of the week of U.N.C.I., were appointed to the sub-Committee.

3. It was agreed that the round table conference will begin Tuesday August 23rd but for Parliamentary reasons the Netherlands delegation insists that no announcement be made before Thursday.

4. Van Maarseveen made a statement to the meeting to the effect that reports from Java revealed that after the cease-fire order T.N.I. forces had infiltrated into Soerabaya and that documents had been captured to show that there was a definite plan to infiltrate into areas controlled by the Netherlands. He expressed the hope that the Republican Government would take measures to prevent any recurrence of such a proxy. The Netherlands Government found it necessary to bring the matter to the attention of the States-General but would do so in a moderate way since the Government was convinced that the infiltration was an initial incident which would not be followed up. Hatta replied that he would endeavour to obtain a report from Indonesia.

1 Dispatched on 15 August, it reported that Delegations of the Netherlands, the Indonesian Republic and the BFO were to meet on 16 August to discuss the opening date of the Round Table Conference and its rule of procedure.

2 The word 'countermand' should presumably read 'chair'.

[AA : A1838, 854/10/4/3, vi]