480 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram C8 THE HAGUE, 3 September 1949, 12.57 p.m.


New Guinea is one of the few topics of the R.T.C. on which the conflicting attitudes of the parties is clearly emerging. The Dutch will insist that Northern New Guinea be excluded from Indonesia while both Indonesian Delegations will demand its inclusion. The Indonesians are agreed, however, that special economic and administrative agreements might be made with the Netherlands to facilitate New Guinea's development.

2. The Indonesian viewpoint was decided at a secret meeting of the two Delegations. Hatta who as reported earlier is not seriously concerned about New Guinea suggested that a condominium status for Northern New Guinea might be accepted. He agreed, however, with the Federalists when they insisted on the importance of the inclusion of New Guinea in Indonesia and the other Republicans supported them both in principle and for political reasons.

3. In informal discussions with carefully selected Dutch and Indonesian Representatives I have suggested that the conflict on New Guinea should not be allowed to prejudice an early successful conclusion of the conference and that it might therefore be desirable to postpone the issue for later negotiations. This view has been sympathetically received but it is too early to judge whether it will be taken seriously.

4. The Dutch Press has given considerable space to the suggestion that Indonesia and the Netherlands might share a joint trusteeship of Northern New Guinea and I should be glad to have your reactions to this proposal.

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