530 Notes by Eaton

Minute BATAVIA, 13 November 1949


Within a few months and with the most probable straightening out of the confused situation after transfer of sovereignty in Indonesia and also taking into account the very probable reluctance both on the part of the Dutch and Indonesians to freely cooperate with regard to the future of Indonesia, the outside assistance which will be required by Indonesia falls into the following main fields:-

(a) Political;

(b) Economic;

(c) Military;

(d) Civil Aviation;

(e) Education.

Assistance will undoubtedly be given to the greatest extent possible by India, particularly in the Political, Military, Civil Aviation and educational fields, while America will strive for all advantages to be gained from the economic situation-it seems doubtful at present as to what extent America is interested in the Military field. Britain's attitude will be to sit on the fence and wait and see, and also it is not likely that Indonesia will seek cooperation from Britain, particularly as they agree with the concept of the East that British diplomacy is one of immediate expediency and must therefore often become immoral. Australian diplomacy, up to the present time, with regard to Indonesia has placed her in the position of being considered an outstanding friendly country and future cooperation and assistance is looked for to a greater degree than Australia realises and moreover is able to give, however as Indonesia will probably be the last bastion in the East against communism, it seems that it would be a fatal mistake not to give to the utmost what assistance can be given, particularly as Australia stands in such a high regard with practically all Indonesian political and military leaders.

The extent of assistance required from Australia will be as follows:-

(a) Political. In the first instance guidance from the Australian member of U.N.C.I. during the transfer period plus consultation with the Australian Mission in Batavia and followed closely by a special top ranking political mission to Australia for general exploration of future cooperation. From the Australian side this should be encouraged and possibly the future status of New Guinea placed high on top level discussion.

(b) Economic. Indonesia will ask for practically all types of goods, textiles, technical items and machinery from Australia, and be willing to send in return copra, Kapoc, rubber, oil, nuts and tea at a future date. She may also ask for a loan to be made by the Government, or subscribed publicly or privately.

(c) Military. The future of the new U.S. of the Republic of Indonesia is not clearly known at the present time, but it is known that it will be dominated by the present army of the Republic of Indonesia, the T.N.I., and that a military mission will be requested to visit Indonesia from Australia or/and vice versa.

Other assistance which will be required from Australia will be the entry of Indonesian cadets to our Service Colleges, admission to service specialist courses and technical mechanical training in all its aspects.

(d) Civil Aviation. All civil aviation in Indonesia is under the control of the N.E.I. Government and K.L.M., with the exception of a few aircraft belonging to the republic of Indonesia and manned by foreign crews and now scattered either in India or the Philippines. There is not any agreement as far as is known between the Dutch and Indonesia for the future of aviation in Indonesia, and the present feeling of the Dutch is that their civil aviation authorities and K.L.M. will pull out after sovereignty takes place. It is known that K.L.M. are endeavouring to obtain an agreement with the Indonesia[ns] to be able to carry on their activities throughout Indonesia which include a network of air services throughout the archipelago and a five-day a week service to Amsterdam.

Foreign services at present interested in Indonesia are Malayan Airways, which runs a service from Singapore to Batavia, a Philippine service between Batavia and Manilla. BOAC have landing and refuelling rights for their England-Australia service.

Australia has no landing or refuelling rights, although it is a fact that QANTAS aircraft on charter to BOAC land at Batavia.

There seems to be no doubt that Australia, should it so desire, will be asked for general assistance in the organization and training of the future civil aviation service and probably actual participation in the establishment of new airlines.

(e) Education. During the prolonged struggle education in Indonesia has been entirely disorganized since 1942. Assistance from all possible countries will be required in this field.

Australia will be asked for teachers, printing of text books, supplies of Australian text books, supplies of educational school materials, and an extension of scholarships under the scheme already inaugurated.

[AA : A1838, 381/3/1/2, i]