Ball to Burton

Cablegram 2 BATAVIA, 8 November 1945


I urgently request authoritative clarification of the position of Australia representatives here. British authorities in Batavia are apparently not informed of my status or functions. It has been necessary for them to enquire from Plumb about my identity and mission. This is profoundly unsatisfactory. Moreover my arrival is a complete surprise to Plumb who was of a well founded belief that he was chief Australian Government representative here. Would you consequently immediately clarify the situation which meantime remains intolerable. [1] Meanwhile Plumb is co-operating cordially.

Nevertheless on arrival yesterday I saw Christison and made other contacts. My first impression strongly supports the wisdom of your telegram to Evatt. [2] Most immediately important to prevent further increase of Dutch troops here.

[matter omitted]


1 Cablegram 4, dated 10 November, advised Ball that confirmation of his status and functions had been cabled to Mountbatten on 22 October, that the U.K. Govt had previously undertaken to instruct their political and military authorities to keep in close touch with him, and that it had been made clear to SEAC that Plumb and others were to assist him in his functions. Plumb had been informed of this also. In the circumstances, Burton found the term of cablegram 2 ‘quite inappriate’, and reminded Ball that ‘The job is the important thing’. On file AA : A1838/2, 401/1/1/1, i.

2 Document 361.


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