495 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram C16 THE HAGUE, 23 September 1949, 9.52 p.m.


Discussions on the Statute of the Union were reopened and the following modifications of the points set out in my C.14 [1], have now been agreed upon:

A. The Character of the Union. The two paras have been consolidated 'The Union Statute and appendices and common regulations and other agreements may be registered with the United Nations in accordance with Article 102 of the United Nations' Charter'.

B. The Inter-Parliamentary Conference. The Indonesian Delegations have chosen the second text.

C. The head of the Union. Paragraph 1 has been amended to read 'The Head of the Union effectuates the support of voluntary and lasting co-operation between the partners' (a word with a slightly different meaning to 'spirit' will be used in the Netherlands text). Paragraph 2 no change. Paragraph 3 The Union court will take decision in the name of the Head of the Union by majority vote, will consist of six judges appointed for 10 years (age limit 65 years). The Members of the Court will be appointed by the respective Governments. There shall be no question of the Head of the Union 'affirming' the appointments but he shall administer oath of office. (The proposed oath would be innocuous in content and conform to the religious requirements of the nominees.) 2. The three delegations agreed in the Steering Committee this morning to make the following press announcements 'Through informal discussion held since the return of their Steering Committee from Namur [2] the three delegations have agreed in principle on the following points with regard to the Union Statute.

A. Character of the Union Statute.

B. Position and functions of the head of the Union.

C. Duties and composition of conferences of Ministers of the Union Partners which are to be held at regular intervals.

D. Duties and composition of the court of Arbitration of the Union.

E. Good contact and regular co-operation between the Parliaments of the Union Partners.' 3. The Indonesians continue to refuse to consider the Netherlands Proposal that the Head of the Union should have the power to take decisions on the recommendation of the Conference. Providing the Netherlands give way on this, there are unlikely to be further serious hitches on the Statute of the Union. The legal experts will endeavour to complete next week a consolidated draft on the basis of the agreements in principle already reached.

4. The Indonesian Delegation are generally satisfied with the results. Hatta feels he can have the Statute accepted by the Indonesian people providing the overall agreement is not delayed too long. Sukiman is hesitant about Masjumi reactions but the republicans consider that providing that Masjumi supporters are approached indirectly through their Council, the difficulties can be overcome.

5. The next major problem will be on the Economic and Financial agreement on which the Indonesian and Dutch views still widely diverge. Leaders of the Financial and Economic Committee made a preliminary and superficial report to the Steering Committee today and will discuss their problems in more detail at the next meeting of that Committee on Tuesday 27th September. The Republicans will now endeavour to force the pace and there may be a showdown on the Economic issues by Wednesday of next week.

1 Document 491.

2 With Drees as chairman, the heads of Delegations and the UN Commission for Indonesia held discussions at the Chateau de Namur in Belgium from 16 to 18 September (see Document 490 and 491). See also Cochran's telegraphed account of the meeting on 19 September in Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1949, vol. VII, Washington, 1975, pp.494-7.

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