501.BC Indonesia/1–1749: Telegram

The Acting United States Representative at the United Nations (Jessup) to the Acting Secretary of State 1

us urgent

54. Van Roijen called to see me at my invitation this morning. We talked very frankly on a friendly personal basis for nearly an hour. He laid stress on his feeling that both Dubois2 and Cochran were prejudiced in their point of view. He said that our draft resolution had made any solution impossible and expressly declared that this [Page 162]statement was based on a telephone conversation with Stikker this morning. His main objection seemed to be that it was based on a complete denial of the possibility of Dutch good faith, and said no self-respecting government could accept such a position. He said if the US intended to put on enough pressure to drive the Netherlands out of Indonesia he supposed they could do it, but they preferred “to go down fighting.” He had little new to say in regard to the past developments except that our aide-mémoire to his government3 had consolidated the determination of the Dutch Cabinet to go ahead with police action and that it had destroyed the possibility of moderation. We discussed at some length the question of the survival of the Republic as an entity and he conceded my point that the SC could scarcely accept their theory that they had wiped out the Republic with which they had made agreements including the Renville agreement under the auspices of the SC. In answer to a specific question, he said that his government did not take the position that the Linggadjati and Renville agreements no longer existed but insisted that certain of their provisions had been modified by events although the principles of those agreements were still accepted. He half admitted my suggestion that in the case of the alleged violation of the orders regarding the nature of the confinement of Hatta and the others on Bangka, some of the Dutch officials on the spot had been very extreme in their attitude and actions and had caused additional difficulties. Van Roijen said he would be very grateful if we had any further information concerning incidents of this kind if we would let him know. I asked him whether he saw any possible bridge between the position of his government and the position of the SC which he recognized particularly with reference to the continued existence of the Republic and the restoration of its leaders. He said flatly that he saw none. He did say that he wished we had had this talk before our “working paper” had been distributed but I reminded him that the views of the US had been perfectly clear to his government for a long time. I also told him that on the basis of conversations with most of the people at the council table it seemed to me there was a general unanimity of view on most of the basic points.

So far as this conversation went, there was no indication that the Dutch were prepared to accommodate themselves to any SC resolution whatever. In view of talks with other members of the council, reported-separately, it seems to me clear that we must proceed with a strong resolution although certain minor amendments may be acceptable to the co-sponsors of the resolution which would make it slightly more palatable. One lead which Van Roijen gave was the suggestion [Page 163]that the resolution should include reference to the federalists as well as the Republicans.

De Rose4 in conversation with USUN today took a very strong line referring several times to the possibility that they would find it necessary to veto a resolution and insisting that the basic point was non-extension of the good offices principle. The French cannot contemplate any extension of powers for any UN body in the Indonesian question. While I personally doubt whether the French will veto, such action on their part would throw the whole onus of responsibility on their shoulders. Since it would clearly be based on an argument concerning the competence of the SC, I believe we should be prepared at that point to introduce at once a resolution submitting the question of competence to the ICJ for an advisory opinion. If resolution in some such form as now drafted is adopted by SC and if Dutch should immediately walk out or give notice of refusal to comply, believe we should be prepared to indicate our position.

Since next meeting of SC is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, introduction of our resolution cannot be delayed beyond that time. Strongly recommend that if anything is to be done along lines of bilateral approach, it should precede possible further Dutch statement at that time.

  1. Repeated in telegram 42, January 18, 7 p. m., to The Hague.
  2. Coert du Bois, Mr. Cochran’s predecessor as U.S. Representative on the UN Security Council GOC, Batavia, February–July 2, 1948.
  3. See text of December 7, 1948, Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. vi, p. 531.
  4. François de Rose, member of the French delegation at the United Nations.