501.BC Indonesia/1–1449: Telegram

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

secret   urgent

83. Gocus 546. Leaving for Bangka morning 15 January on GOC plane with other GOC representatives. Return late afternoon. Have prepared large number questions designed evoke from Hatta, Roem, Sastroamidjojo picture of situation as basis GOC report to SC.

Visited tonight by Supomo, Darmaisetiawan, Sudjono. They have reliably heard that at Republican Cabinet meeting held 0900 to 1100 December 19 during assault on Jogja decision taken to entrust Shafrudin Prawira negara ,2 Min. economic affairs, with authority form emergency government. (They state this emergency government now located Central Sumatra). Heard also Cabinet meeting drew up instructions to Palar3 and message to Nehru giving them official notification of status emergency government. RepDel requests Hatta be asked confirm this. If confirmed RepDel will recognize authority Shafrudin government and will enter into negotiations only as this emergency government instructs. RepDel asked also for Hatta statement as to official status Darmasetiawan heretofore advisor. RepDel has received at least one communication from Shafrudin via underground. I will ask necessary questions accordingly.

Three Republicans have private source information as to proceedings in closed Federalist meeting in Batavia now in progress. Heard that yesterday morning Federalists made list thirty-one names including 22 Republicans who were to be consulted re participation Republic in Federal Interim Government. (See paragraph 3 Gocus 544, January 14). Among non-Republicans listed was [Anak] Agung, Prime Minister East Indonesia. Among Republican names were: Leimena, Sukarno, Hatta, Sjahrir, Darmasetiawan, Supomo, Sultan of Jogja,4 Susahunan of Solo and Supomo. From this list a final list [Page 151] drawn up of “prominent persons from territories not yet organized” containing five names: Sukarno, Hatta, Sjahrir, Sultan of Jogja and Supomo. This list prepared previous to meeting with Drees who has expressed himself privately against first two. (See Gocus 541.5) First four of five named under detention. Three Republican representatives ridicule idea this can come to anything so far as participation of Republic concerned.

Questioned about rumor that Netherlands considering division former Republican territory into three negaras with Hatta at head of one, Darmasetiawan said he had heard this under consideration and that three negaras contemplated were Atjeh, Central Sumatra and Central Java.

Supomo confirmed Atjeh still Republican and stated President had published decree emphasizing Atjeh fully loyal to Republic. Apparently little Netherlands military action against it. In fact recent reports Atjenese taking offensive. We discussed possible political and legal significance of fact that thus substantial territory with definite boundaries still at least nominally under Republican flag. Atjenese heretofore, of course, have been strongly particularistic.

Sudjono had been considering drafting letter to GOC but gave basic ideas instead. Stated that Federalists now meeting Batavia not representative of their areas not merely because from puppet states unilaterally [set up?] by Netherlands Government but because good number of them do not have support even of the negara Parliaments or other partially representative organizations which Netherlands themselves established. For example, Prime Minister East Indonesia was named by President East Indonesia recently without consent or consultation with Parliament. Sudjono submitted draft which stated further that present Cabinets in East Indonesia and Pasundan are “nothing but facades without democratic roots established as ad hoc organizations for sole purpose of expediting formation of Netherlands-controlled Federal Interim Government. Re above, I wish point out that on 21 December 1948 Pasundan Cabinet resigned in protest against Netherlands attack upon Republic. 14 January 1949 wali negara of Pasundan announced in Parliament the resignation of Cabinet and Parliament was sent home for recess before it received any opportunity state its position re this resignation. Since then it not yet been called into session. It understood Netherlands authorities put strong pressure on vulnerable wali negara of Pasundan who at present extremely ill to undertake above-mentioned action. Further wish to add that all political groups which form majority Pasundan Parliament are only willing participate in new Cabinet on basis following [Page 152] program: (1) Rehabilitation of status of Republic prior 19 December and restoration authority of Sukarno, Hatta; (2) formation Federal Interim Government with participation of rehabilitated Republic; (3) amendment BIO (decree administration in Indonesia in transitional period) to make it acceptable to people of Indonesia.”

Darmasetiawan explained his view that any order for withdrawal to SQL would be entirely unrealistic even if Netherlands agreed. Only technique Republic can effectively employ is guerrilla warfare. Would be suicidal if effect of withdrawal order would be to require withdrawal TNI at present carrying on guerrilla warfare throughout Java and Sumatra. Would be real difficulty in obtaining compliance by units of TNI in light of manner in which they feel similar withdrawal in past has led to betrayal by truce. Darmasetiawan believes guerrilla warfare can be carried on for decades. Supomo agreed and explained that this is reason why Republic believes it preferable to have Netherlands troops withdraw to central garrisons where they would not be in position to coerce population rather than to issue order both sides to withdraw to SQL at this point.

Supomo is sending Hatta via GOC tomorrow account his meeting with Drees (Gocus 541). Will supply us with copy soon as translation made.

Arrange further meeting for tomorrow night. Signed Lisle.

  1. Repeated in telegram 40, January 17, 7 p. m., to The Hague.
  2. Also known as Dr. Sjafruddin.
  3. Lambertus Nicodemus Palar, Indonesian Republic observer at the UN.
  4. Hamengku Buwono IX.
  5. Telegram 69, January 12, p. 143.