501.BC Indonesia/11–2548: Telegram

The Consul General at Batavia (Livengood) to the Secretary of State 1

secret
us urgent

1029. Gocus 456. Received by Stikker alone 4 p. m., November 25, and talked 50 minutes. He said he had bitter struggle at Hague and not yet sure of success but hopeful. I said I had heard of some of his difficulties and had been trying to pave way for his return. With Hatta in Sumatra and GOC refraining from going to Republic, I had not seen Hatta or Sukarno personally. I said I had talked secretly with Darmasetiawan and Supomo on different occasions in Batavia and would speak with them again before they join Hatta for conversations to resume in Kaliurang 27th.

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I let Stikker know I had told my 2 Republic friends he was having especially hard time over questions TNI, Army Command and infringements. I said I had told them as good officer I could not pass on merits any arrangements discussed directly by Hatta and Stikker. I had assured them, however, I was convinced Stikker had more conciliatory and reasonable attitude toward Republic than any Netherlands official I had met. Furthermore I was sure he was the one individual most likely to achieve peaceful settlement for Republic. It was my thought therefore that Hatta and Sukarno would desire to know points on which Stikker experiencing trouble with his colleagues and would be anxious meet his position thereon as far as they could without losing their own support.

On army question I had stressed to Supomo and Darmasetiawan that, in addition to political embarrassments, they would be ruined economically if they tried to keep large army of their own. I told Republic friends, but did not tell Stikker, that plan I understood Stikker would ask Republic take on army and military command would be more easily accepted by Republic than would possibly USDel plan. I pictured to my friends therefore wisdom of endeavoring reach amicable settlement in direct conversations yielding to Netherlands on points which Stikker emphasized and perhaps gaining on others in turn. I said this much more to their advantage than resorting to GOC where I could not support them beyond USDel plan. I let Stikker know that I had also told Republicans how much importance he attaches to diminution infringements and incidents at this juncture. I told Stikker that Sukarno had sent back message of appreciation of my information and had promised take advantage of it. Furthermore he had indicated his pleasure at Stikker returning to Kaliurang and had volunteered send RepDel to Batavia after Stikker visits Kaliurang if this may be desired.

Stikker thanked me warmly for what I had done and asked that I give one additional point. He said since arriving here he had been informed that Hatta contemplated raising question in initial conversation as to whether Netherlands is resolved to carry out second police action if present conversations fail. Stikker said this would create very bad atmosphere and hoped no such incident would arise. While promising to say [only?] the necessary to my friends, I let Stikker know that bad atmosphere for renewed conversations already being created here by Spoor and his information service and by quarantine measures against Republic. I said Republic would be very sensitive to any tough approach on part of NethDel after having enjoyed such pleasant contact with Stikker. When I spoke of Spoor and his group, Stikker said they had gotten so far out of hand that it had become vitally necessary get quick peaceful settlement. Stikker asked me tell Republic friends not be upset by any initial attack of Sassen. He said [Page 501] that if Republic could meet his own 3 or 4 points mentioned above he was confident his government would accept agreement with Republic and that whatever points Sassen might raise would not outweigh his own. He hoped therefore that Republic would meet his own position reasonably and confer quietly and patiently with Sassen without threatening break off conversations in early stage and resort GOC.

Following up Sukarno idea of RepDel coming Batavia, Stikker said he would suggest NethDel remain Kaliurang only 3 days. If conversations went well he would then try get Hatta and his delegation come back to Batavia with NethDel. Further conversations would then be held in Batavia, or conceivably both NethDel and RepDel might go to Bandung to meet group there. In any event Stikker hopes get Rep Del to Batavia and in contact with Bandung group either Batavia or Bandung.

Once informal conversations between 3 groups have progressed to satisfactory point NethDel and RepDel would then come into GOC where their technicians would work with us in drawing up formal agreement and certifying it under GOC auspices. Stikker said his group anxious to push ahead and would even like to have agreement completed and interim government set up by December 15. He said January 1 is latest date possible for institution of provisional government under emergency legislation now in force.

At 5 o’clock Messrs. Sassen, Stikker and Neher received Critchley, Herremans and me. They each spoke briefly outlining plans to resume conversations at Kaliurang on various points to be covered with Republic and then to continue conversations in Batavia and possibly Bandung before coming to GOC for formal settlement with Republic. They all stressed their interest in achieving successful settlement without bypassing GOC or using duress. Sassen was cordial throughout. Neher was evasive as usual. We assured group of our desire see direct conversations succeed and GOC utilized as fully as required. According to present plans, 3 delegates and 10 or 15 advisors and secretaries will proceed Kaliurang 27th and return 29th or 30th.2 Signed Cochran.

Livengood
  1. Repeated in telegram 598, November 29, 10 a. m., and airgram A–267, November 30, to The Hague.
  2. Telegram 597, November 29, 10 a. m., Usgoc 208, to Batavia, told Mr. Cochran the “Dept highly gratified your handling situation” described in telegram 1029.