517 Pritchett to Critchley and Department of External Affairs

Cablegrams The Hague 14, K348 BATAVIA, 24 October 1949


My No.11(K.345). [1] The Republic replied to Lovink's Aide Memoire [2] on October 19. The reply stressed the difficulties involved for the Republic in a satisfactory implementation of the Cease- Hostilities and that the Republic had accepted the Agreement because of its desire for the R.T.C. and Lovink's informal promises for Dutch troop withdrawals. Also, the Republic had been confident that the Dutch would render full aid in supply. However, the Dutch had shown reluctance to co-operate-especially in East Java.

The reply continued:-

(a) both Delegations had sought a smoother implementation of the Cease-Hostilities and on October 7 the Republic had largely accepted the s'Jacob proposals [3] and stated its readiness for immediate discussions; however the Netherlands Delegation had not replied and it now appeared from Lovink's explanation that it would only discuss its proposals further if these were first wholly accepted by the Republic;

(b) the Republic could not readily accept such a sudden departure from the overall plan as the proposals [4] of October 10, particularly since these were limited to the extent of excluding East Java, the area which gave most concern to both parties. It was also opposed in principle to the withdrawal of the TNI because resultant infiltrations of disorderly elements increased future difficulties. Nevertheless, while continuing to seek an overall solution, it had authorised its representatives to compromise to the extent of proposing co-ordinated patrolling in the disputed areas. The Netherlands had not accepted this;

(c) since in both instances Republican approaches had been rejected, Lovink's charge that the Republic was unco-operative was unacceptable;

(d) regarding the Negaras, both the Cease-Hostilities Agreement and paragraph 7 of Van Roijen's statement [5] of May 7 provided for the present maintenance of Republican military and civil organs throughout Java and Sumatra. Because of the Netherlands position on this point, the Republic proposed direct discussions with the Negaras and was confident that in this way an agreeable settlement could be readily concluded without prejudice to the outcome of the R.T.C.;

(e) The Sultan had not acknowledged that his proposals were not merely based in existing agreements. The Republic regarded these as an application of certain features of the s'Jacob plan and as a continuation of the direct discussions then initiated by the Netherlands. They were moreover in line with Lovink's earlier informal promises;

(f) the allegation regarding 'infiltrations' had several times been answered by local Republican representatives. The Republic was disturbed that Lovink should merely repeat this claim when it was undeniable that the recent intensification of Dutch patrolling must result in incidents which might be impossible to localise.

Under these circumstances, in which certain Dutch commanders had recklessly disregarded the Cease-Hostilities, the Republic could not accept Lovink's view that it was responsible for present developments;

(g) the Republic urged the disastrous results of a breakdown for both parties, not the least being the serious danger of disorderly elements, including Communists, gaining influence. It reaffirmed its good faith in the Cease-Hostilities and its confidence in the Netherlands but emphasised the urgency of relieving the present pressure on the TNI and the need for a liberal approach which would support its efforts to organise its military and civil apparatus in preparation for the assumption of responsibility for internal security and orderly government.

2. Lovink's reply of October 20 is ten pages long. Summarised:

(a) the Republican proposals are unacceptable and contrary to the Cease-Hostilities agreement;

(b) similar proposals had already been rejected during the Djocja Cease-Fire discussions as being outside the framework of the May 7 declarations;

(c) Lovink had made no promises regarding the withdrawal of Dutch troops but had said this question should await the outcome of the R.T.C.;

(d) the Netherlands Government could not co-operate in the Republican plan which it believed would make more difficult the orderly transfer of administration since as a result of the general administrative disruption a chaotic situation could hardly be prevented;

(e) the plan would also necessarily strike at the roots of authority of the Negaras East Java and Pasundan;

(f) the Netherlands have always allowed for the Republic's technical difficulties but these are not sufficient explanation for 'infiltrations'. The Netherlands had always sought to prevent incidents and to end the administrative disruptions which resulted from these tactics and the associated activities of the K.O.D.M.'s. Should the Republic not be sufficiently informed in this regard, then (Koets) is prepared 'to furnish extensive documentary material which the Netherlands has at its disposal in this connection';

(g) though the Republican Government states its opposition to TNI withdrawals Wongsonegoro agreed to such an arrangement in the Central Joint Board (October 19). Lovink therefore requests clarification as to which standpoint must be taken as the official standpoint of the Republican Government. He hopes that Wongsonegoro's acceptance of the Board agreement indicates that the Sultan's proposals have been withdrawn;

(h) the Netherlands Government is prepared, as shown in the past months, to assist in relieving tension but it 'cannot take into consideration any proposal which would destroy all agreements arrived at, would undermine the administration of the Negaras Pasundan and East Java, and in its full conviction, would only cause further confusion and disruption'.

3. It will be necessary for the Republic to reply yet again but the correspondence can have no profitable future and I have suggested that- (a) the Republican reply be brief and moderate in tone;

(b) they refer the correspondence to UNCI for information;

(c) they cease independent discussions with the Dutch and press for satisfaction through the Central Joint Board and the UNCI Sub- Committee on supply and administration.

1 Document 510.

2 See note 2 to Document 510.

3 See Document 494.

4 See Document 506.

5 See Documents 376 and 385.

[AA : A4357/2, 252, ii]