80 Critchley to Burton

Letter BATAVIA, 14 January 1949

I am enclosing some background papers which would not have reached Canberra at the time you left. These are- (1) Personal letter [1] to McIntyre of the 10th January, with Appendices.

(2) Translation of final speeches of Republican leaders on the 19th December. I have been given no proof of the authenticity of these, but believe they are reliable. I intend to check with Hatta tomorrow. [2]

(3) Report on the Indonesian situation as compiled by the Republic Indonesian Office in Singapore. [3]

(4) Such military reports as we have received so far from the field (one only). [4]

(5) Reports of the Committee of Good Offices to the Security Council since January 8th. [5]

(6) Copy of a letter from Netherlands Delegation regarding the Committee's visit to Bangka. [6]

(7) Notes on interview with Quentin Pope following his visit to Central Java. [7]

(8) Brief outline of Netherlands policy in Indonesia. [8]

2. The outline of Netherlands policy is not, as you will see, a deeply considered document, but I thought it might be useful to jot down a short summary showing the consistent line taken by the Dutch since the Japanese capitulation.

3. The formation of the Federal Government which is now the first item in the Netherlands political programme has been delayed by the resignation of the Governments in Pasundan and East Indonesia.

New Governments in these States have now been formed but it is questionable whether they would have the support of the respective parliaments. This is particularly the case in West Java.

Wiranatakusuna the head of the State admits he was pressured by the Dutch, and the new Prime Minister Wiraatmadja is known to be an opportunist. The Indonesian party which is the strongest faction in the Pasundan parliament and which is insisting on a policy of co-operation with the Republican leaders, will have no representatives in the new government. It is note-worthy that the Pasundan Parliament was abruptly dissolved on the 4th January and has not been reconvened.

4. The Federalists are, generally speaking, a weak bunch.

Nevertheless the Dutch may not have it all their own way, even with them. At the Federal Conference which is at present in session, the East Sumatra and Madura representatives (who are real puppets) introduced a resolution thanking the Dutch for the military action. This was soundly rejected. The following resolution was finally carried unanimously:-

'The Assembly for Federal Consultation, at their meeting of January 13, 1949, at Batavia, wishing to attain as soon as possible, by peaceable means, the formation of a Free and Sovereign United States of Indonesia, is of the opinion that:

1. in principle the formation of a National Government for the whole of Indonesia is necessary for the transition to the free and sovereign United States of Indonesia;

2. the Decree Administration Indonesia during the Period of Transition (B.I.O.) [9] be taken as a starting-point for the formation of the above-mentioned Government;

3. before the formation of the above-mentioned National Government, it will be necessary to consult prominent persons from these territories not yet organized according to article 5 of the Decree Administration Indonesia during the Period of Transition.' Some Republican minded members of the Conference see in this resolution a first move towards consultation with Republican leaders.

Kindest regards to Colin and yourself.

1 Document 57.

2 Not published.

3 Not published.

4 A report from Milob Team No. 9 dated 11 January and entitled 'Initial Report Regarding Netherlands "Cease Hostilities" in Indonesia.

5 See United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Fourth Year, Supplement for January, pp. 6-17, pp. 19-20 and pp. 46-9.

6 This letter from T. Elink Schuurman to the Chairman of the Committee of Goods Offices dated 12 January conveyed the NEI Government's agreement to the Committee meeting the Republican leaders on Bangka.

7 A reference to Critchley's undated notes on Chicago Tribune correspondent Quentin Pope's observations on the situation in central Java.

8 A reference to Critchley's undated 'Brief Outline on Netherlands Policy on Indonesia' which described the Netherlands as having consistently aimed since 1945 at restoring Dutch colonialism in Indonesia by force.

9 See note 1 to Document 74.

[AA : A1838, 401/1/2/6, i]