Ball to Burton

Cablegram 3 BATAVIA, 8 November 1945


I had a long talk with Walsh, Christison’s adviser. He said- (1) That the final bilateral conference under Christison’s chairmanship was scheduled for the fourth [1] but yesterday Soekarno firmly refused to meet until 15th despite strongest British Dutch protest against delay. Soekarno stated that he must attend patriotic and Trades Union rally from 10th to 15th.

(2) That Van Mook now believes that Soekarno exerted full powers of leadership of Indonesians including extremists but is using the extremists as bargaining weapon.

(3) That the British intend to hand over to the Dutch at the earliest possible, though at present preventing the Dutch troops landing.

I suggested a personal unofficial reflection that the conference on 15th was already doomed to failure and that a United Nations Commission was the only hope. Walsh gave reluctant indication that it may come to this in the long run. I urged the strongest reasons for taking this course immediately. Despite opposition I am pressing strongly to attend the 15th conference as an observer. If my claim is unrecognized tomorrow will telegraph you asking that Chifley make a direct request to Mountbatten.

My firm belief is that the general situation is deteriorating rapidly and the 10th is probably the crucial day. Hence reiterate support your telegram to Evatt asking for American initiative. [2]


1 A sign here indicates ‘as received’.

2 Document 361.


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