538 Pritchett to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K351 BATAVIA, 4 December 1949, 7.15 p.m.


My Savingram K.1. [1]

The National Preparatory Committee was established on November 26th with sixteen Republican and sixteen B.F.O. members under Rum as Chairman and Anak Agung Deputy Chairman. Members then returned to their territories to attend R.T.C. ratification proceedings.

The Committee assembled again yesterday morning and set up Committees for (a) administration (b) security, and (c) procedure.

(a) will make all arrangements for R.I.S. to take over the administration of Indonesia, (b) will deal with military affairs and security arrangements, and (c) will arrange for the appointment of the Government and Parliament. A special Sub- Committee for public information was also set up. All these Committees are led by Republicans. The Preparatory Committee further made the Sultan of Djokjakarta responsible to it for all security matters and appointed a contact committee to meet the Dutch. This is led by Rum with Anak Agung as deputy and is composed of the Chairman and vice Chairman of the three committees and Simatupang.

2. The Contact Committee met the Committee of eight under s'Jacob yesterday afternoon (the Committee of eight from the Pre-Federal Government). The Dutch likewise appointed security and administrative committees and the Chairman met to plan their work.

U.N.C.I. attended and will participate in talks on the same basis as at The Hague.

3. B.F.O. nominations are still awaited for appointment of Indonesian officers to Departments but Senior Republicans moved into Economic Affairs and Information during the week. Talks also began in the Security Committee on Tuesday and good progress has been made in arrangements concerning police and the hand over to the T.N.I. in the main towns. In Batavia six battalions of T.N.I.

will start moving in on December 15th. The most urgent matter yet to be settled is the supply by the Dutch of arms and ammunition.

The Republicans have also submitted a working paper on Dutch troop concentrations and the supply of military equipment to the T.N.I.

in the field. The Dutch have not yet commented. Simatupang reports relations to be co-operative with both the K.L. and K.N.I.L. and he is hopeful that the arrival today of the Defence Minister, Foekema Andreae, will expedite supplies.

4. Minister Stikker and Van Schaik arrived on Tuesday and left today December 3rd. They seemed mainly concerned to impress the Indonesians with the necessity of maintaining law and order and to seek assurances regarding the position of Dutch civil servants.

The Republican press release after their visit to Sukarno stressed an atmosphere of mutual confidence and the necessity to co-operate among all the people living in Indonesia. Sukarno will shortly broadcast on this theme.

5. Six territories have now ratified the Dutch agreement: Mid and East Java, East and West Borneo, East Indonesia and East Sumatra.

No difficulties are anticipated in other territories. Negara relations with the Republic appear to be improving. Mid and East Java have both expressed support, the former demanding that it be returned to the Republic. Hatta's enthusiastic reception throughout his Sumatra trip last week is also believed to have disabused Mansur and Malik of any non co-operative notions.

[Hamid] [2] is rapidly losing all support in the B.F.O. and on his return home representatives requested him not to accept any position in the R.I.S. but to devote all his energy to Pontianak.

6. In Pasundan the situation is deteriorating. Briefly there are four main anti- republican groups:

(1) small feudal group under the Wali Negara; this is mainly a family affair, but involves also some native troops, politicians and Negara officials;

(2) Darul Islam; Natsir's attempt to win this movement has failed;

(3) Parki, a new political party deriving from a pre-war society for promoting Sundanese culture; and (4) Armed bands brigade Tjitarem and Banbu Runtjing, variously reported to be Tanmal Darul Islam, or plain bandits.

The situation is complicated by the activities of Westerling who has close relations with all four groups. He is reported to have ample funds and to be using them inter alia for the organization of vigilante groups for the 'people's protection', his recruits including K.N.I.L. deserters. These brigades have recently gained a dangerous coherence, with an understanding between Wali Negara and Darul Islam for the establishment of an anti-Islamic state of Sunda. Republic efforts to set up a mass organisation have always been suppressed and consequently there is no movement [of] authority sufficient to afford stability to the situation. In Parliament the Republicans can count about 35% support, the remaining members changing loyalties almost daily. Outside Parliament frustrated Republicans compile lists and plan coups.

The situation is quite hysterical and Republicans are forced to work with the utmost caution. Outside Bandung regency the situation is healthier with a well-organized republican movement, and the issue clear between T.N.I. and Darul Islam and groups in (4) above. T.N.I. will commence operations as soon as transport, arms and ammunition are received from the Dutch.

7. Reference paragraph 9 of my savingram K1 [2], the other 'non- participating territories' are Sabang Island, off Atjeh, and the Sultanate of Kotawaringin in East Borneo.

1 Document 534.

2 Word in square brackets inserted from a copy on file AA :

A4357/2, 252, ii.

2 Document 534.

[AA : A1838, 403/3/1/1, xxvii]