63 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K244 BATAVIA, 11 January 1949, 7 p.m.

IMPORTANT RESTRICTED

VISIT TO REPUBLICAN LEADERS

The Netherlands Authorities were obviously embarrassed by the Committee's request (see my K243 [1]). A formal reply was received today in the following terms:-

(a) The Netherlands Delegation is at the Committee's disposal to provide the necessary facilities and clearance for the journey to Bangka.

(b) It was indeed the intention to transfer Soekarno, Salim and Sjahrir [2] to Bangka. However, they preferred to remain in their present residences.

(c) The possibility of them remaining is now being investigated, taking into account the accommodation difficulties and the desirability of a speedy reunion with their families.

(d) The Netherlands Delegation now therefore appreciates the forbearance of the Committee for a few days.

2. The Committee will telegraph its request and this reply to the Security Council for information, pointing out that the final arrangements for the Committee's visit to the leaders have not been affected.

3. The Committee will meet with the Representatives of the Netherlands Delegation tomorrow, 12th January, and endeavour to arrange for a visit to the Republican Leaders on the following day. It will be seen that, contrary to Van Royen's statement [3], of the four top leaders only Hatta is in Bangka.

1 Document 61.

2 Sukarno, Salim and Sjahrir were imprisoned in Sumatra.

3 See Document 50.

[AA : A1838, 403/2/2/2, vi a]