58 Chifley to Beasley

Cablegram 6 CANBERRA, 10 January 1949, 3.30 p.m.

RESTRICTED

Thank you for your 6 and 7. [1] The comments you made and those of others were apt. The United Kingdom telegram [2] to their Ambassador at The Hague is now to hand and shows quite plainly that Dutch could count on United Kingdom support even if they defied advice of Western Countries and the orders of the Security Council. It would be interesting to know what the 'certain action' was referred to in paragraph 4. [3] We have also seen United States instructions and they follow the same line that is strong advice accompanied by definite indication that in the end Dutch could count on United States putting Atlantic pact first. We are not going to be lulled by recent Dutch statement and promises. We want to be convinced of their sincerity by acts, as on each previous occasion such promises have been followed by further repressive action. Even yet respected political leaders are still held by the Dutch.

There can be no elections which mean anything without withdrawal, freedom of all political prisoners and complete supervision at all stages by Committee of Good Offices.

1 Documents 48 and 51.

2 In this telegram dated 1 January, Bevin informed Nichols that '... the only way the Netherlands can get themselves out of the situation ... is to take a bold and statesmanlike step forward by setting up a Federal Interim Government as soon as possible to include the recognisable representatives of the Republic and a firm date for the transfer of power'.

3 In this paragraph, Bevin declared that: 'Whoever it may have been who was responsible for the situation earlier this month the fact remains that I was asked to take certain action by the Netherlands Government and that in spite of this request repressive military measures were once more the only result.'

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