475 Eaton to Burton

Memorandum BATAVIA, 19 August 1949

I refer to your memorandum No. 172 (401/3/9/2/1) [1] of 2nd August, and have to advise that during my recent visit to Jogjakarta I took up the matter of relief supplies with the appropriate Republican Government authorities, who have replied as follows:

'1. In connection with the note of the Royal Netherlands Legation at Canberra on 20th July 1949 concerning the medical supplies left behind by the Dutch in the Jogjakarta area: it is true that the Dutch left behind medical supplies when they withdrew from Jogjakarta. I signed the inventory of medical supplies, they were sufficient for one month only. I also signed the inventory of the stock at the time of occupation by the Dutch forces. From the latter, much was divided by the Dutch among those who were in need of it. I signed as being authorized by the Minister of Security and in the capacity of a member of the Committee of the Indonesian Delegation specially formed in connection with the transfer of materials from the Dutch. Specimens of the documents were sent to the Dutch Delegation, the Indonesian Delegation and the Ministry of Health.

2. Regarding medical supplies for the area of Jogjakarta: during the negotiations in June 1949 concerning the transfer of work of the Department of Health in Jogjakarta area from the Dutch to the Republic of Indonesia, Dr. F.M. Vonk, coordinator of the M.G.D.- D.V.G. for the Kedu, Jogjakarta and Solo areas, and Mr.

Vinkenborg, Head of the Department of Pharmacy for these areas, proposed (a) to send a list of medicines directly to the gentlemen in Semarang and Salatiga, where they settled after the withdrawal from Jogjakarta, in order to ascertain the possibility of meeting the inquiry relating to sort and quantity;

(b) concerning the supplies of medicines for the private hospitals in the Jogjakarta area, I agree with a direct connection with the hospitals. This means that the hospitals should send a list of needed medicines direct to them, and the inquiry should also be sent direct to the hospitals. It will be sufficient for a copy of the correspondence to be sent to me.

It is clear from the above-mentioned proposals that the Dutch still consider the Jogjakarta area as a part of Dutch-occupied territory, even though the Government of the Republic has re- settled there.

You will understand that I could not accept these proposals in view of the sovereign position of the Republic of Indonesia in Jogjakarta, for it would mean the meddling of another land with officials who will control and deal with the internal affairs of the Republic. I have stated our standpoint, and when necessary will contact the countries concerned through highest official channels.

3. Concerning the article in the Sydney Morning Herald of July 12th, 1949 about the inquiry of medicines of the Republic of Indonesia to the Government of Australia: the Ministry of Health did not cable to Dr. Usman about matters mentioned in the above article and it is certain that the Government of the Republic did not do it. It is regular for the Government, in matters concerning health, to consult the Ministry of Health first; such a consultation has not happened. Perhaps Dr. Usman has been a victim of an irresponsible person who has used the name of the Government of the Republic by sending the cable mentioned. We do not know at present who is the sender, but the matter is under investigation.

4. Concerning the situation of the medicines in the area of Jogjakarta, I beg to inform you that we have only received small- pox vaccines apart from the medicines referred to in sub-1. No other medicines have been received from the Dutch in Djakarta. We have learned from our representatives that they received medicines from the Dutch, which were sent to Jogjakarta on July 26th, 1949, but have not yet been received here. It seems that these articles are still in Semarang, it not yet being possible to send them to Jogjakarta. According to the list sent to me there are not many kinds of medicines. Our representatives have been told by the Dutch that sheds in Manggarai (Batavia) have been burned down, resulting in the destruction of many medicines, so that little stock remains. Therefore, we would be very obliged to you when you can arrange the sending of the medicines from the Australian Government, which are in Djakarta, by truck to Jogjakarta, so that we can supply the areas outside Jogjakarta, which we cannot do at present because of the shortage of medicines.'

2. With regard to the medical supplies which are part of the Australian contribution towards post-UNRRA relief, these supplies are still held by the Indonesian Red Cross. However, I have this day arranged with Dr. Laoh, and the Sultan of Jogjakarta, of the Republican Government, for the despatch of these goods either by truck or by rail from Batavia to Jogjakarta within the next few days.

1 Burton forwarded with this memorandum a copy of a press statement which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 12 July by Usman Sastroamidjojo and a note dated 20 July from the Netherlands Legation in Canberra disputing Sastroamidjojo's statement. Usman's statement was concerned with the paucity of medical supplies left by the Netherlands in Djokjakarta.

[AA : A4357/2, 352, i]