487 Pritchett to Critchley and Department of External Affairs

Cablegrams The Hague 6, K340 BATAVIA, 12 September 1949


On September 9 the Deputies [1] submitted a draft Board press release stating that there had been a very substantial decrease in armed clashes and incidents, that such difficulties and disagreements as arose from time to time were mostly being dealt with by the local Joint Committees and few matters of importance being referred by them to the Board, and that the Board felt the 'cease-hostilities' was a success. The Dutch agreed that the 'cease-fire' was very successful but claimed that the 'cease- hostilities' was most unsatisfactory owing to the serious military situation created in East and Central Java by Republican infiltrations-'still continuing'-and to Republican interference with the civil administration in these areas. Though as anxious as we to publicise good progress they could not consent to a 'half truth'. Nor were they prepared to draft a new release with us which, while meeting their position, would still include the brighter side. Since Milex has insufficient detailed and first hand reports from the field, we are unable to take a strong position with the Dutch in this matter. In making a separate UNCI release we would afford the Dutch an opportunity to publish their own version to which we could not at present effectively reply.


2. The following is a summary of latest Milob and Committee reports:-

PURWOKERTO: infringements general throughout the area but of a minor and sporadic nature. The Committee reached a deadlock on delineations after its first meeting. (We have asked them to try again and sent the Dutch and Republican military representatives on the Board to assist them.) SEMARANG: the Dutch alleged 24 incidents during August 26- September 2 plus many instances of Republicans improving their positions. Most of the incidents were unimportant. There is no news as to delineations but the team reports the present position to be favourable.

MAGELANG: only four minor incidents reported for week ending September 2. Good progress in discussions on delineations.

SOLO: there is no recent news but Milobs reported a very substantial decrease in incidents to August 20th followed by an increase to August 27, with allegations by both parties. Since then Dutch and Republican Board Representatives have visited Solo and arranged for 'co-ordinated' (not joint) 'patrolling', and for a joint administration by Dutch and Republicans and by the Susuhanan and Mankunegoro. The Dutch at first demanded that the Republic recognise the Rulers as having a near Negara status but they have now referred to The Hague a proposal that the Republic and the Rulers should share the administration and the Dutch troops withdraw. The Republic is anxious to retain sufficient authority to protect the Rulers from left-wing groups in the Residency.

KEDIRI: the Milob report to September 3 states 'incidents still occurring through the entire area but in a diminishing number and with the continued constructive co-operation between local commanders they should gradually become nil'. Informal meetings between local commanders were becoming more frequent and there appeared to be an atmosphere of great confidence. There is no news regarding delineations.

BODJONEGORO: only two minor incidents have been reported since the Cease-Hostilities. There is no news as to delineations.

3. These reports do not support the Dutch description of the situation. It is also to be noted that though the Dutch representatives on the local Committees complain of Republican infringements, they are content that these be dealt with locally and do not claim that the general situation is serious. (Ends Part I) 4. The Sourabaya area continues unsettled. Baay, the Dutch General, claims that the situation is critical owing to continued Republican infiltrations and attempts to upset the Negara administration. Milobs' reports confirm this but since they are largely from Dutch sources it is difficult to tell what is actually happening. Republicans in Batavia report things to be much quieter than the Dutch say, but they fear that Baay's aggressive attitude and the continued detention of Djarot (TNI commander in the Sourabaya incident [3] of 10/11 August) are causing unrest among their people. (The Republicans have complained to Lovink that Baay insulted the Sultan during his recent visit. s'Jacob in apologising to Wongsonegoro for this, stated that Baay's removal had been considered, but was difficult owing to his father's position on the Queen's staff.) Both parties having submitted extravagant and unacceptable claims, the Committee has reached a deadlock on delineations and is referring to the Board. The position has been complicated by a lack of balance on the part of the Milob team and their open support for the Dutch.

5. Except in the Bukittinggi area, where the Chairman has reported that the parties cannot yet agree on delineations and that Republican infiltrations continue, reports from Sumatra, Bantam and Pasundan remain favourable.

6. The informal discussions between the parties on paragraph 7 of Van Roijen's statement [4] of 7 May give the background to the Cease- Hostilities in Java. Budiardjo's impressions are that the Dutch will probably recognise the Republican civil administration in the Java Renville territories and the Semarang Recomba area, but will delineate zones rather than withdraw their troops pending the progress of The Hague Conference, particularly regarding the position of the KNIL. In Pasundan they have said that they will garrison their troops by the end of the month but this will probably depend on the outcome of their present demand that the Republic withdraw its administration. In East Java the Dutch are pressing for the Republic's complete military and civil withdrawal. The F.C.A. are supporting the Dutch, claiming that the presence of Republican administrations is inconsistent with the Negara status of Pasundan and East Java as recognized by the Republic at the Inter-Indonesian Conference. The Republicans appear genuinely anxious that a withdrawal on their part from Pasundan and East Java will considerably strengthen the positions of the Darul Islam and Tan Malacca groups, both of which are opposed to the Hatta Government and to the R.T.C.

7. At the Board meeting on Friday Wongsonegoro alleged Netherlands violations of paragraph three of the Proclamation [5], claiming that they had executed seven political prisoners during the last fortnight, all of whom had been arrested prior to the Cease- Hostilities and that this was having serious repercussions among Indonesians. At today's meeting he requested that the parties on the Board agree to ask their Governments to refer sentences to the Sub-Committee on Political Prisoners so that the political or criminal nature of offences might be discussed before sentences be executed. The Dutch replied that all sentences were scrupulously reviewed before execution and that in particular cases mentioned the persons executed were common criminals. They could not agree to Wongsonegoro's request but would transmit it to the Government of Indonesia for consideration. The Republican complaint was referred to the Sub-Committee for investigation.

1 i.e. the three Deputies of the representatives on the UN Commission for Indonesia, Edward A. Dow, W.B. Pritchett and J.R.L van den Bloock. The Central Joint Board consisted of the three Deputies, three senior military advisers, four representatives of the Netherlands Government, four representatives of the Republican government and four representatives of other territories in Indonesia which were members of the Federal Consultative Assembly (FCA/BFO).

2 The Central Joint Board issued a press release on 9 September that it had considered reports of alleged infringements of the cease-hostilities agreement but would take no action until it had received further reports.

3 See Document 474.

4 See Document 376 and 385.

5 Paragraph 3 of the Joint Proclamation stated that those who were being prosecuted for crimes which were clearly the result of political conflict between the Netherlands and the Indonesian Republic should be released from prosecution.

[AA : A4357/2, 252, ii]