81 Beasley to Chifley and Evatt

Cablegram 11 LONDON, 14 January 1949, 1.40 p.m.


I think I should report for what it is worth present attitude of Ceylon High Commissioner [1] here on Indonesia. First of all Goonetilleke is very critical of Bevin's failure to understand attitude of India, Australia and Ceylon and implications of Dutch action. He also feels that after their spirited reaction Americans are losing interest.

2. On other hand he has real doubts about Delhi Conference partly because number of Governments have declined to participate or are not sending top line representatives and partly because he naturally distrusts Indians. Goonetilleke thinks that Menon may in private talks here have receded somewhat from firm position taken by three of us at last week's meetings. I doubt this but think Menon may on certain aspects of Indonesian question prefer to take up line of his own and to maintain an absolutely independent position. At same time Goonetilleke is sceptical about Nehru who 'has ambitions to be leader of Asia'. Probably for same reason Pakistan High Commissioner [2] here while he has supported us has been very circumspect and I understand has consulted United Kingdom at some length about Delhi Conference although doubt whether United Kingdom people have given him any firm advice one way or other.

3. I merely send this as an indication of atmosphere for Delhi Conference and because Goonetilleke expressly suggested that I should warn you along these lines.

4. I think we had some effect though not enough on United Kingdom attitude last week at any rate insofar as Cadogan was instructed to condemn Dutch openly.

1 Sir Oliver Ernest Goonetilleke 2 Habib Ibrahim Rahimtoola.

[AA : A1838, 383/1/25]