501.BC Indonesia/10–1149: Telegram

The Consul at Batavia (Abbey) to the Secretary of State

secret   priority

802. Gocus 807. For Cochran. Reference penultimate paragraph Ushic 241 indicating Department may be requested by Netherlands to intervene with Republican Government re alleged cease hostility violations, following comments are submitted on contents Netherlands memo handed to Assistant Secretary:

No one here denies that cease fire proper has been most successful. For last three weeks, official Netherlands and NEI army casualty lists have reported total of four killed. While even this deplorable in itself, it compares with average weekly totals of between 40 and 45 killed prior to cease fire order. No official figures from Republicans but TNI casualties unofficially reported as negligible. In view intricate intermingling of military posts in densely populated Java, these figures indicate excellent discipline both sides.
Chief Netherlands complaints are of two types (a) improvement Republican military position by cold infiltrations, i.e. alleged setting up of TNI posts where none existed prior cease fire order, and (b) undermining of negara administrations through setting up of local Republican counter administrations.
As regards (a), Republican argument from Sultan down is that TNI were already in positions prior to cease fire order, but only appeared openly after they learned of cease fire order. Most military observers are inclined to view this argument with skepticism, but neither they nor Dutch have any way of proving what was TNI position before cease fire order. Interrogation of population has proved useless. Only solution appears to be to continue work delineation of zones. This has progressed slowly in LJC’s and has recently almost [Page 521] ceased in view discussions for overall Java solution (Gocus 8032). Meanwhile, virtually no clashes are taking place although it cannot be denied that from Dutch military point of view tactical position is unsatisfactory. It is not correct, however, that “TNI takes no notice of cease fire order and infiltrates into Dutch patrolling areas agreed upon in LJC’s”.
Reference (b) above, believe that these Netherlands allegations have considerably stronger basis although here again Republicans claim local administrations have existed in negaras since before first police action in form of “shadow administrations” which controlled villages and countryside, leaving towns and main roads to Dutch or negaras. Even if this true, emergence of such administrations and efforts to take over authority would appear to violate inter-Indonesian agreements and, I believe, may be tolerated if not ordered by Jogja in desire to strengthen future Republican political position on old ground that “Republic is not a geographical concept”.
Question arises as to extent UNCI is competent, or US acting separately would desire, to intervene in this matter. UNCI deputies have already pointed out to Republicans that although UNCI not anxious to enter into inter-Indonesian politics, it would do so if cease fire order were threatened. I have privately and on personal responsibility urged Republican Minister Interior, who is powerful internal politician, to restrain local Republicans in negaras. He takes attitude that negaras will not long survive transfer sovereignty but agreed emphatically that “patience is needed” especially during RTC and has promised to prevent any more shadow administrations coming to light at least in West Java (Pasundan).
In speaking to Minister Interior, I stressed concern was over administrations locations which might interfere with supply and consequently affect cease fire order. Seriously doubt whether UNCI or US representatives should go further at present. There is danger that we might place ourselves in position of defenders of negaras which have no roots in population and whose governments are staffed either with those permanently identified with old Dutch rule or persons whose Republican sympathies are transparent, [as] was clear at least in Pasundan during recent visit there. The negara problem is likely to be a continuing one and any instructions or comments from Department or Cochran will, of course, be appreciated. Signed Dow.

  1. Telegram 868, October 7, p. 502.
  2. Telegram 783, October 4, not printed.