Eggleston to Dunk

Letter (extract) [December [1] 1945],

I have just read Mr. Macmahon Ball’s report of the 17th of December [2] on his work in the Netherlands East Indies. While I agree with a great deal of his report and his attitude, like most political scientists of today he seems to me to ignore the fundamental question as to how government would work out in the Netherlands East Indies if left to the present representatives of the Indonesians. They number a few hundred intellectuals leading a body of armed guerillas over a vast mass of illiterate people.

There are four different nationalities in Java alone and over forty in the Netherlands East Indies. There are seventyeight rajahs in Java alone. How on earth can such a regime maintain Indonesia as a stable community and as an independent member of the United Nations Organisation and a contributor to international security? When I met Van Mook at a dinner at San Francisco, I asked him whether he thought he would be met with open arms by the Indonesians. He said he thought so. I then said I disagreed and that the only remedy seemed to me to be trusteeship. He objected to that on the ground that investments would not be made under such a system. Mr. Macmahon Ball does not even say whether the Indonesians would accept trusteeship. The stability of the Pacific islands is of the utmost importance to Australia. Java is, of course, not the only one whose stability is in question.


1 This extract is undated. The original letter has not been located. It is possible that it was written early in 1946.

2 Document 458.


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