534 Pritchett to Department of External Affairs

Savingram K1 BATAVIA, 26 November 1949



The Republicans and BFO delegates met on Tuesday the 22nd November and adopted a Draft Regulation for the National Preparatory Committee. The text is given in the Appendix. [1]

2. Rum took the Draft to Jogja on 24th November for approval by the Republican Cabinet. He will return to Batavia this afternoon with Hatta, and it is expected that the Preparatory Committee will be established this evening with Hatta as Chairman. I understand that there are at present three candidates for the two positions of Deputy Chairman, namely Rum, Anak Agung and Sultan Hamid, but it is expected that the two former will be elected and the de facto leadership of the Committee will be taken by Rum, Hatta's position being merely nominal.

3. The Committee will be active in three fields- (a) arrangements for the appointment of the Provisional Government of the R.I.S.

(b) arrangements with the Dutch for the transfer of sovereignty;

and (c) current discussions between the existing Delegations, e.g.

Supply and Political Prisoners & Prisoners of War.

4. I gather from Rum that under (b) it is envisaged that the Preparatory Committee will negotiate with a Netherlands Delegation, under the auspices of the UNCI. This is somewhat contrary to the Netherlands conception of procedure in the coming weeks as set out in s'Jacob's letter of 5th November, 1949 (document S/AC.10/CONF.3/13) and it supersedes the Indonesian decision given in the letters from the Republican and BFO Delegations of 12th November (document S/AC.10/CONF.3/13/Add.1).

[2] Conversations with the Dutch indicate that they wish to keep the UNCI in the background during the coming weeks and at the transfer and arrange matters directly with the Indonesians. For Rum, and presumably the majority of the other Indonesians on the Committee, there can be 'no question' of departing from the procedure set out in the Draft Regulation. However, this has not yet been discussed with the Dutch, and the Dutch attitude has yet to be tested.

5. I am to meet Rum tomorrow and discuss this procedural question with him and also try to define the heads of discussion during the coming weeks. Matters in which the UNCI is likely to be most concerned include:-

(a) military affairs, including the disposition of forces in line with the TNI undertaking security responsibilities on the day of transfer, and the supply and equipment of the TNI;

(b) the co-ordination of arrangements for the continuation of local and federal administrative services; and (c) police and other security measures in the larger towns at the transfer and the role of the Military Observers in this respect.

PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT AND PARLIAMENT 6. The Deputies are still awaiting the Appendices [3] to the Commission's report to the Security Council, but I understand that the following arrangements provided for the establishment of the Provisional Government and Parliament.

7. The President of the R.I.S. will be elected by a body consisting of two members for each of the first sixteen territories listed in paragraph 9. In consultation and agreement with this body, the President will then appoint three cabinet formateurs, who will be the R.I.S. Premier, Minister for Defence and Minister for the Interior. The three formateurs will then independently appoint the Provisional Government. The main authority of the Government will rest with an inner cabinet consisting of the Ministers of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Interior, Finance and Economic Affairs, under the chairmanship of the Premier. (This inner cabinet will be empowered to take decisions in all fields without consultation with either the remainder of the Government or the Parliament.) 8. The Senate of the Provisional Parliament will be appointed by the various member Parliaments or Representative Councils of the first sixteen territories listed in paragraph 9, each territory being represented by two Senators. The method of appointment of members of the Representative Council is left to the discretion of the various territorial authorities and may be either by popular election or by election by the Parliaments or Representative Councils.

9. The Representative Council will consist of 168 members, 97 for the territories represented in the BFO, 50 for the Republic, 3 for the Non-Participating Territories (apart from the Padang Recomba, is not clear which Territories are concerned), and 18 for the Minorities. The BFO announced the composition of its representation on November 23; this was fixed according to the population densities of the various territories. The Representative Council will be composed as follows:-

1. East Indonesia 17 2. Pasundan 21 3. East Java 15 4. Madura 5 5. East Sumatra 4 6. South Sumatra 4 7. Central Java 12 8. Bangka 2 9. Billiton 2 10. Riouw 2 11. West Kalimantan 4 12. Greater Dajak 2 13. Bandjar 3 14. Southeast Kalimantan 2 15. East Kalimantan 2 16. Republic of Indonesia 50 17. Non-Participating territories 3 18. Chinese Minority 9 19. European Minority 6 20. Arab Minority 3 168 It is expected that the Provisional Government and Parliament will be formed by December 15.

10. At the moment there is no doubt that Sukarno will be President, Hatta Premier and Anak Agung Minister for the Interior.

The Sultan of Jogja is the obvious choice for the Minister for Defence, but there is some possibility that the BFO might support Sultan Hamid as a bargaining point of Negara policy to secure the withdrawal of Republican administrative installations from Negara territories. Hamid has no personal backing but he is able to capitalise on the present tension between the Negaras and the Republic.

NEGARAS 11. The Republicans have so far talked over their relations with the Negaras only with Pasundan, to which they submitted a proposal providing for the maintenance of the status quo in the interim period: in Negara territory where Republican administration is fully functioning a joint board of Republican and Negara officials would be established, while the Negara would be left independent in territory where its administration only was operating. The Republic would further guarantee to cease appointing new officials and to ensure non-intervention by its representatives and supporters. The Pasundan Cabinet has not yet replied to this proposal, but present indications are not too favourable.

12. The position is complicated in Pasundan by the attitude of the small feudal class, headed by the Wali Negara, Wiranatakusuma, which has strong sentiments regarding local autonomy. In general, the Republicans are confident of sympathetic majorities in the Parliaments and Councils, but in the Governments there is considerable confusion and nervousness about the future, and a consequent danger that security will be sought in an affirmation of Negara rights. With popular feeling strongly anti-Negara, Republicans fear that such a stand by Negara Governments would cause serious tension and lead the Negaras to seek protection by having the KNIL take over security responsibilities in the territories, a development which would certainly end in widespread disturbances and a highly unstable political situation in the new state. At the same time, while avoiding pushing the Negaras to this extent and precipitating an open split, the Republic must pursue its anti-Negara policy sufficiently firmly to retain the support of its followers in Negara territories; otherwise, it fears, these will join the radical 'opposition' movements or take independent measures and attempt coups d'etat.

13. The Negaras most difficult to deal with are East Sumatra and Pasundan; Republicans feel that if they can win over Pasundan, the majority of the B.F.O. will follow. Their present tactics are to try and reach some working arrangement through direct discussions supplemented by pressure from Republican supporters in the Negara parliaments and emphasis in all discussions on the urgent need for national unity. It is considered essential that the position be clarified by popular vote and I understand Hatta has suggested that elections be held in the Negaras within the first quarter of 1950; which will give the population an opportunity to vote for Republican parties pledged, in effect, to abolish the Negaras.


14. The position of the KNIL is still uncertain. Following conversations with Simatupang, Buurman van Vreeden conferred with his Territorial Commanders on Wednesday and it was decided that officers should be sent out among KNIL units to instruct and persuade KNIL to play a regular role in the coming months in accordance with the RTC agreements and the interests of a united R.I.S. This decision is yet to be implemented.

15. There are some reports that Sultan Hamid, in line with his anti-Republican position, is attempting to build himself up, or is being built up, as the protector of KNIL interests during the re- organizational period and that failing election as Minister for Defence, he will seek appointment as Vice-Minister with substantial powers relative to the re-organisation of the KNIL.

His support in the BFO will depend upon the other members' feelings as to the possible desirability of the KNIL being given operational functions in the coming months.

16. I shall cable further developments.

1 Not published.

2 Not published.

3 See note 3 to Document 526.

[AA : A4357/2, 252, ii]