Burton to Evatt

Cablegram 1688 CANBERRA, 10 November 1945


Netherlands Minister making frequent calls these days and interview at some time could not easily be avoided hence appointment already made was not cancelled. However, whole character of interview was changed as result your messages [1] and your point met. He is still to call on Prime Minister on Tuesday next.

2. Mountbatten arriving in Australia in few days and will probably see Prime Minister on Wednesday. Recent developments may make his visit impossible. War Cabinet meeting Monday in Melbourne.

3. Reaction of Indonesians to British ultimatum unknown as yet.

[2] You will know of Indonesian appeal to President. [3] I cannot think of anything further that can be done here at this stage. If fighting between British forces and Indonesians occurs there will be serious political reaction here unless we can publicly demonstrate our efforts to prevent development. Glad to know what discussions you have been able to have and would suggest that you might attempt to get Attlee and Truman to act together and if possible for it to be known that Australia had been associated with settlement proposals.


1 Document 372 and cablegram E22 from Evatt to Burton, dispatched 9 November, on file AA : A3195, 1945, Folder, To and From Dr.

Evatt in London. Foreign Ministers’ Conference. I.55308.

2 Serious violence had broken out in Sourabaja on 30 October. A group of Dutch women and children were murdered together with their escort of British-Indian troops, while in a separate incident Brigadier A.W.F. Mallaby was killed attempting to arrange a cease-fire. On 31 October Christison issued an ultimatum warning of further action unless all fighting ceased and Mallaby’s murderers were surrendered to the British authorities.

3 An unsuccessful appeal by Sukarno for a United Nations inquiry into the NEI situation.


[AA : A3196, 1945, 0.25622]