82 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K249 BATAVIA, 14 January 1949, 5.45 p.m.

RESTRICTED

Committee will telegraph to the Security Council today, January 14th, the following points from the first report [1] received from the Military observers in the field:

(a) Destruction of roads, bridges and property has been and still is taking place on a much greater scale than was anticipated by the Dutch Military authorities. Hundreds of bridges have been destroyed including many important ones. All rail roads are completely blocked owing to the destruction of bridges and rail road property. Many of the main roads in central Java are still not open and on those which are, travel is only possible in convoy.

(b) Towns of Lamongan and Bodjonegoro are reported to be badly damaged by fire and demolition and are practically uninhabited either by local population or troops.

(c) In the former Dutch DMZ it was observed that nearly all bridges have been destroyed and a number of native villages destroyed mainly by fire and most are deserted.

(d) The number of Dutch troops in newly occupied areas is insufficient to prevent roving bands of occupants from moving freely and from performing acts of sabotage such as the destruction of newly repaired bridges. The Dutch troops are also insufficient to maintain law and order in the towns and many Chinese merchants have suffered severely from looting.

1 The full text of this report, Document S/1212, is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Fourth Year, Supplement for January, p.49.

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