501.BC Indonesia/1–1649: Telegram

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

us urgent

85. Gocus 548. GOC will send late tonight following report to SC:

  • “1. 15 January accordance arrangements reported SC 11 and 13 January, GOC visited six Republican officials detained on Bangka. Officials are Hatta, Roem, Sastroamidjojo, Suriadarma, Assaat (KNIP) and State Secretary Pringgo Digdo. They detained. Isolated hill near Muntok.
  • 2. GOC had been informed by Acting Chairman NethDel on 14 January that ‘Government of Indonesia at this juncture cannot see way to permit a member of RepubDel to accompany GOC on forthcoming [visit] Bangka on 16 January. It intended shortly revert to possibility for members RepubDel now in Batavia to pay visit to Bangka.’
  • 3. Officials brought to island by 31 December are detained in large building. They have one doorless bedroom 6 meters by 6 meters in [Page 155] which located six beds. In addition they originally allowed area 4 by 10 meters wired off from large reception room. Since 12 January wire has been removed and entire reception room 19 by 16 meters open to their use. Permitted access to roof under guard. All windows enclosed by wire netting as is area around door. Guards on duty in sentry boxes immediately outside. They not permitted leave wired area. Up to two days before GOC visit when additional furniture installed, there only chairs and two tables.
  • 4. On 10 January officials were visited by Brouwer described as Crown Commissioner in Medan and as personal representative HRC (High Representative of Crown). Brouwer asked them sign pledge to refrain from political activities and assured them if they gave such pledge, they would be given freedom move about Bangka and families be permitted join them. None gave pledge.2
  • 6. Officials have been kept generally informed progress events and activities SC. May listen radio reports, given copies Bangka Indonesian press, Dutch magazines and Batavia newspapers, latter somewhat delayed. They not received reports or other documents from RepDel or GOC, GOC left with them recent reports and publications including Republican reviews of Indonesian press.
  • 7. Vice President and other officials presented at length Republican position re military action and controversies between parties. It agreed that Republican position could be more effectively presented in writing and GOC would not attempt forward informal oral expressions of opinion. Group requested they be supplied with additional documents needed in preparation their statement and they be visited by three RepubDel present Batavia so that statement can be properly prepared. GOC indicated willingness forward such statement to SC and will use good offices with Netherlands to procure granting of above requests so that early preparation and transmission report will be possible. Chairman RepubDel submitted written report on experiences of internees since 19 December which GOC will forward airmail.
  • 8. Since 5 January officials been permitted write their families. Letters handed local guard unsealed. One reply received. Are permitted communicate only with families.
  • 9. No political proposals have been made to officials other than request to sign pledge (paragraph 3 above).
  • 10. Group heard radio report of pending visit GOC on 11 January. [Page 156] On 14 January they told by Netherlands official, GOC would come next day.
  • 11. Vice President stated that at Cabinet meeting held 9 o’clock to 11 o’clock, 19 December during assault on Jogja, President and Cabinet had authorized Shafrudin Prawiranegara to establish in Sumatra emergency government of Republic. This government deputized by Cabinet and has authority act for President and Cabinet on all matters in which President, Prime Minister and members regular Cabinet not free to act. Vice President also stated Republican representative to SC has full authority to act on his own initiative in absence further instruction from his government.
  • 12. On 16 January GOC received following letter from Acting Chairman NethDel:

    ‘I hear with surprise that orders given concerning personal freedom of circulation in Bangka for Hatta and other prominent personalities have not been put into force.

    I have at once ascertained cause of this regrettable state affairs. It is, as you know, entirely in contradiction with instructions given on this point and which being repeated today by telegram.

    In order avoid further misunderstanding, I have honour inform you that two high Netherlands officials will leave for Bangka early tomorrow by special plane with specific mission see that no obstacles are placed to free movement and circulation in Bangka for above-mentioned personalities’”.3 Signed Lisle.

  1. Repeated in telegram 39, January 17, 6 p. m., to The Hague.
  2. Paragraph numbered 5 apparently not included; it read as follows: “The Vice President and others expressed concern at the fact to [that?] Mr. Brouwer indicated that the High Representative of the Crown no longer recognized either the legal existence of the Republic nor the official status of its servants. The Committee assured the group that so far as the Security Council and the Committee are concerned, the Republic was still a party to the dispute.”
  3. Telegram 43, January 17, from The Hague, quoted a communiqué issued along similar lines, adding that “Severe measures will be taken against those responsible.” Foreign Minister Stikker gave a copy of his statement to the American Ambassador (Baruch).