501.BC Indonesia/1–749: Telegram

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

us urgent

48. Gocus 531. GOC telegraphing unanimous report to SC by 1400 Jan. 7 Batavia time with urgent recommendation to Secretary it be made available to members SC before meeting today. Part one covering sections one to ten inclusive deals with course events since last report dated 29 December primarily as respected [reported?] in letters quoted Gocus 519, 521,2 522,3 524, 5284 and 530.5 In part two Committee draws attention of Security Council to certain points related to performance of its functions under resolution 24 December. Part two follows:6

12. Committee is not in position to report there has been satisfactory compliance with subparagraph A of resolution of 24 December which called on parties cease hostilities: (a) telegram dispatched territorial commanders Java by Chief Staff of Royal Netherlands Indonesian Army at 17 hours, 29 December is according its terms for information and cannot be construed as order to “cease hostilities forthwith”. Dissemination of order of commander chief to territorial commanders in Java which confirmed fact that hostilities in Java ended 24 hours 31 December was begun 1845 Batavia time 2 January. In Sumatra where “special emergency situation” existed, parallel order disseminated late 4 Jan. had effective time of 12 hours 5 January.

(b) It noted these orders were issued at time when “operational phase” of military activities presumably had been completed. Orders noted respectively that hostilities had terminated 31 December in Java and 5 January in Sumatra but charged troops to “carry out action against roving groups, bands or individuals, who attempt to cause unrest or, as was stated by our representative to Security Council ‘to act against disturbing elements who either individually or collectively endanger public security or interfere with or prevent supply of food and other essentials commodities to needy population’” orders permit continuation very type of military action that would be required against guerrilla resistance likely be offered by regular or irregular Republican forces.

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(c) As result of immobilization its military observers Committee has no first-hand information as to effect orders discussed above.

(d) Committee is of opinion that these orders issued more than week after adoption resolution 24 December and expressed as they were, cannot be looked upon as satisfactory compliance with subparagraph A of resolution.

(There no channel available to committee for dissemination resolution 24 December to government or commanders Republican Army).

13. Subparagraph B, SC resolution 24 December calling for immediate release President Republic and other political prisoners has not been implemented. Far as Committee aware, Sukarno, Hatta and other members Republican Government captured by Netherlands forces 19 December still under detention.

Direct questions relating present status, welfare and whereabouts political prisoners addressed to Netherlands Delegation our letter 25 December (December 26 report) have not been answered.

14. As pointed out December 26 report, task imposed upon Committee by SC resolution 24 December to observe and report upon implementation by parties of earlier portions resolution, was fraught with inherent difficulties from outset. These difficulties include absence demarcation lines between armed forces of parties, impossibility establishing contact with Republican forces and extreme difficulty distinguishing hostilities between parties from security measures.

15. Despite statements to SC by Netherlands representatives 27 and 29 December, Committee has not been in position make independent investigations of any kind in field for purpose carrying out its functions under December 24 resolution. As a result failure Netherlands to authorize or facilitate return Committee’s military observers to field, they temporarily immobilized Batavia and Bandung without opportunities observation. Heard unofficially and informally that certain military and naval liaison officers attached some consular officials Batavia took advantage Netherlands offer to conduct them on tour some military areas 5 and 6 January. These officers not military observers of Committee and their observations not available to Committee even if their tour was type field investigations and observation required by functions of committee.

16. If Committee is to continue to function, it requested SC define respective functions of Committee and Consular Commission under resolutions 24 and 28 December. Inability to determine whether functions of one are at this point exclusive of other or concurrent, and problem of to whom military observers are primarily responsible has already created some difficulty and has been made occasion for delay. [Page 135] It understood this point raised independently in telegram from Consular Commission to SC 6 January.7

17. This time Committee invites attention SC to problem its present and future status.

Functions exercised under truce by Committee and its military assistants have disappeared with truce itself. Committee was set up under SC resolution 25 August to aid parties in reaching pacific settlement their dispute. First of 12 Renville principles provided Committee would assist in working out and signing political agreement to be achieved by negotiation. But negotiations and methods pacific settlement now been rejected in favor military action.

Committee feels deep and abiding concern for welfare Indonesia. It does not, however, wish be put in position of seeming approve by its participation or even its authentication any settlement based on force rather than true negotiation.

Divested of broad functions it formerly exercised by change in circumstances resulting from military action instituted 19 December, there remains to Committee function of reporting to Council under terms resolution December 24. Subparagraphs A and B of resolution have already been subject of report. Committee also called upon in December 24 resolution to exercise what may be looked upon as continuing reporting function, that of reporting to Council on “events which have transpired in Indonesia since 12 December.” Inability of Committee to carry out effectively this direction as result its failure obtain permission or facilities for return its military assistants to field already emphasized as have inherent difficulties in useful reporting. (See paragraphs 14 and 15 above). But even if its military assistants were permitted move freely everywhere in Indonesia without undue restrictions and were given adequate facilities, it must be emphasized that committee itself designed primarily as instrument of negotiations.

These considerations inevitably raise question whether continuation GOC in present circumstances would serve any useful purpose or could contribute to peaceful settlement Indonesian problem. Signed Lisle.

  1. Repeated in telegram 17, January 7, 8 p. m., to The Hague.
  2. See telegram 9, January 3, p. 121, and footnote 4, p. 122.
  3. Telegram 11, January 3; see footnote 6, p. 123.
  4. Neither printed.
  5. Telegram 44, January 6, p. 129.
  6. For text, see United Nations, Official Records of the Security Council, Fourth Year, Supplement for January, doc. S/1189, pp. 6–17. This contains correspondence cited above.
  7. See SC, 4th yr., Suppl. (Jan.), pp. 1718.