92 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram UN28 NEW YORK, 15 January 1949, 5.58 p.m.



Our 25. [1] In the Security Council on 14th January, Van Royen, in his statement, reiterated that the Netherlands would not comply with any order for the return of troops to previous positions, and Netherlands will continue to hold 'those leaders whose release might at this moment still endanger public security'.

He declared 'it was the unalterable aim of the Netherlands Government to establish an all Indonesia Federal Interim Government immediately', and his Government 'trusts' that the Interim Government will be constituted within a month and that it will immediately start preparing to hold elections for the Constituent Assembly. The Netherlands, he said, 'will extend all possible efforts in order that the elections may take place in the third quarter of this year, and will do all within its power to achieve the transfer of Sovereignty (to the United States of Indonesia) in the course of the year 1950'.

He said that United Nations observers would be invited to the elections even though he denied that Council has the right to lay down the timetable. He complained against criticism by members of the Council who should 'refrain from interference in internal affairs of a member state'. He again suggested that I.C.J. be asked to rule on the Council's jurisdiction.

2. Cadogan said that the United Kingdom is 'seriously concerned' with the failure of the Netherlands to comply with the December resolution. [2] He was reassured by Van Royen's statement today, and the recent statement by Queen Juliana. [3] He listed two requirements:-

(1) Unconditional release of political prisoners.

(2) Local agency of United Nations must be given every possible facility within reason.

3. He considered that the Council should invite the GOC. and the Consular Commission to furnish further reports. He said the Council should be 'realistic'. To demand the immediate withdrawal of troops would be 'unwise or worse' as it would create the danger of a vacuum.

4. Alvarez, Cuba, proposed:-

(1) the immediate withdrawal of Dutch forces except in such cases where the G.O.C. considered retention necessary in the interests of law and order;

(2) release of political leaders;

(3) free elections under the supervision of the G.O.C. before 1st July 1949; the Sovereign Constituent Assembly to promulgate the constitution of the Republic and decide on its integration in the United States of Indonesia;

(4) Dutch Forces withdraw from Republican territory on the day the date of the elections was determined and the withdrawal completed 15 days before the end of the elections. Occupation of the remaining territory of the United States of Indonesia terminated by the day a duly elected Government took over power and such Government established before December 24th, 1949.

5. The Cuban representative will support any joint resolution along these lines, but if such proposal is not introduced, he has reserved the right to submit a resolution.

6. We described the Dutch statement as disappointing and as making no real attempt to meet the undoubted general sense of the Council's wish. It was also misleading in attempting to represent conditions in occupied territory as nearly back to normal. Quoted facts to contrary. The actual intention of the Dutch was to try to get the Council to accept the picture of the situation in which the Republic as an entity did not figure at all. This was totally inadmissible. The Council must restore not only political status of the Republic as free and equal party in the negotiations, but also, to the extent necessary, its territorial status. This meant that any arrangements for the withdrawal of forces must be a real and effective one, and any progressive withdrawal must be complete by the date of the elections. Furthermore, the Council could not stop at that, but was now bound also to indicate in the same appropriate way the actual contents of the final settlement. The programme outlined by Van Royen amounted only to unilateral imposition of terms. The Dutch were not capable of it though, and if they were allowed to try, this would lead to the worst consequences, both in Indonesia and the whole of South East Asia.


1 Document 87.

2 See note 3 to Document 31.

3 See note 11 to Document 48.

[AA : A1838, 401/3/1/1, vi]