501.BC Indonesia/10–3149: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Netherlands (Chapin) to the Secretary of State 1

secret   priority

1024. Hicus 86. Steering Committee met on New Guinea and self-determination from 4 p. m., 30th, until 2:30 a. m., 31st, with two-hour recess for dinner. Prior session I talked with Hamid who said Indonesians so far found impossible withdraw from positions indicated on New Guinea. He favored acceptance UNCI compromise. I spoke with Anak Agung, Eoem and Sastroamidjojo, urging them not let [Page 555] RTC break down on New Guinea. I pictured great results Indonesians were achieving and future ahead. I said could make no promise what decision on New Guinea might be year from now but felt they should go home with success now gained and depend on later negotiations for determination New Guinea. I said was convinced Netherlands would not move beyond UNCI compromise. Was not sure they would even accept this but hoped so and felt Netherlands would be in serious position with SC if refused and let RTC collapse.

Pringgo Digdo told me first Indonesians to depart, including Roem, will leave Hague 4th; Hatta will go 6th and spend two days Cairo en route; Pringgo will be last remaining until 14th to make plans for union offices, etc. Said Hatta with Djuanda and Indrakasuma scheduled meet Lieftinck 9:30 this morning for hour’s talk on tin pledge before Lieftinck leaves town. Pringgo said no chance Indonesians making any concession.

Session gave priority discussion New Guinea over self-determination. In response inquiry Chairman Maarseveen, meeting decided ask UNCI put formally on record proposal re New Guinea suggested informally previous session (Hicus 852). Supomo said RepDel had studied UNCI proposal carefully but regretted could not see way accept since it does not include transfer sovereignty and no explanation as to how this could be achieved in future. Van Royen said since success RTC at stake, NethDel willing to limit transfer though not sure Parliament would accept New Guinea compromise. Since sovereignty would not now be transferred and both sides would have opportunity consider and negotiate one year hence, NethDel willing accept UNCI compromise but positively last concession. Anak Agung said BFO had made known its position. Said sovereignty must be transferred but BFO prepared make arrangements thereunder with Netherlands.

Maarseveen attempted close subject abruptly but Van Royen questioned procedure. Anak Agung then explained concessions BFO willing undertake. His statement read:

“Without prejudice to terms charter transfer sovereignty two parties agree residency New Guinea shall remain for period not exceeding one year after transfer sovereignty under administration Kingdom of Netherlands on understanding that within this time limit Netherlands authorities concerned in New Guinea shall be obliged supply such information regarding all acts of government which RIS may request. Further understood that upon proposal of one of parties and in agreement between both parties directives may be given to local authorities in New Guinea during one year. During period of one year [Page 556] RIS and Netherlands shall conduct negotiations concerning regulation of administration territory in question after end one year.”

Anak Agung said this proposal made with understanding charter transfer of sovereignty would include no restriction on territory covered, meaning that no exception as to New Guinea would he mentioned.

Van Royen said appreciated difficulties of Indonesians and particularly Anak Agung on New Guinea but could not accept proposal for several reasons. Mentioned only one, namely, Netherlands could not undertake transfer sovereignty over New Guinea.

Recess followed. Therein Hamid asked UNCI if we could not let Indonesians know their position with SC would suffer if they now refused accept compromise which Netherlands had taken. We told Hamid we had put forth this compromise as what we considered fairest way out for all parties and thought no one should let RTC break down through failure accept this. We were not willing, however, make any statement before meeting as to how SC might look upon either party. Anak Agung also spoke with us. We said convinced our compromise was best deal Indonesians could get from Netherlands. Since recess failed bring agreement, Hatta recommended further consideration New Guinea be deferred.

Maarseveen asked Chairman Netherlands Committee on self-determination indicate points of difference. They follow: (1) No agreement on external rights self-determination, Netherlands insisting Article III Linggadjati3 require [apparent garble] while BFO admit only internal self-determination. (2) Netherlands sought clarification Indonesian position on South Asahan and another former Republican territorial unit joining South Sumatra. (3) Netherlands desires provisional recognition TBA territories in Sumatra as autonomous units while RepDel says considered in Republic with BFO approval. (4) NethDel desired see Minahassa, Timor and Celebes permitted exercise right self-determination while Indonesians contend such right already exercised and opportunity in elections for Constituent Assembly to indicate wishes. (5) Indonesians refused accept Netherlands draft agreement on self-determination.

In long debate Indonesians said once sovereignty transferred RIS latter will not admit right external self-determination or secession. Point finally referred to UNCI. With respect Point Two, argument revealed BFO and Republic had agreed inter-Indonesian conference status quo with respect two territorial units should be accepted with later opportunity for them indicate in which state they desire be incorporated. Referring Point Three, Indonesians argued strongly that TVA [ TBA ] areas such as Djambi and Tapanuli belonged Republic, [Page 557] as recognized by Renville, by SC Resolution January 28 and by inter-Indonesia conference, and would concede no change in status temporarily resulting from second police action. Hatta refused Maarseveen suggestion problem be referred UNCI. Hatta said could not go back to Indonesia if weakened on this point. Maarseveen finally stated debate revealed Indonesians accepted principle internal self-determination.

On Point Four, Indonesians said recent general elections in areas concerned showed parties favoring secession or non-entrance RIS polled minorities. Netherlands argued general elections should not count but plebiscites be provided on this special issue. Argument on draft agreement (Point Five interwoven with foregoing points). During debate Maarseveen withdrew with apology draft submitted by NethDel to amend Article II Indonesian Provisional Constitution.

Debate on observation implementation RTC agreements participated in by Catholic leader Romme. Said parties in agreement as reached RTC memo June 22 that UNCI or another UN organization should observe implementation RTC agreements Indonesia. Thought such body should also be given executive duties. Indonesians indicated entire willingness have UNCI observe, well as advise and assist when necessary, but insisted sovereign state RIS should itself be trusted execute agreements it enters. Finally Maarseveen asked whether UNCI desired indicate its own position this subject perhaps in informal session or with committee officers who would continue drafting on implementation agreements. UNCI preferred record at once opinions on (1) external self-determination and (2) observation implementation agreements. Following statement made on (1):

“Commission has not yet seen provisional constitution. We assume it provides for democratic procedure both for elections to Constituent Assembly and manner in which assembly finally determines boundaries of states of Republic of USI.

In determining its position in relation to rights of self-determination, commission in addition to making this assumption has taken into account number of principles which in accordance with its terms reference from SC are relevant.

Linggadjati Agreement, Articles III and IV.
Renville Agreement, Article VI of 12 principles.
Renville Agreement, Article VI of 6 additional principles: ‘Should any state decide not ratify constitution and desire, in accordance with Articles III and IV of Linggadjati Agreement, to negotiate special relationship with USI and Kingdom of Netherlands, neither party will object’.

In accordance with foregoing, it is suggested that delineation of state boundaries should be determined by Constituent Assembly. After states have been constituted each state should be given opportunity to ratify constitution and in event of its deciding not ratify, it should [Page 558] be given opportunity to negotiate special relationship with Republic of USI and Kingdom of Netherlands. Any area less than state would not have such special rights.”

Following statement made on (2):

“Irrespective of question of sovereignty, commission will endeavor carry out its functions as directed by SC. It does not feel that this is place to endeavor define precisely what those functions are.

Right of self-determination may be associated with elections to Constituent Assembly. By agreement of 22 June, UNCI or its successor is required observe implementation of results of RTC. In accordance with its terms reference [apparent garble] its successor is also required to observe elections to Constituent Assembly.

It would be premature for commission to consider details of how such supervision should be conducted. These should be worked out with experts who will become available through commission or such other successor-organization as may be established.”

Meeting adjourned with understanding delegation study position on New Guinea will as [stress?] self-determination, particularly UNCI suggestions, and reconvene 4 p. m., today. Following session Van Royen insisted to UNCI we not following Linggadjati and Graham4 when advancing idea no population less than that of state should exercise right external self-determination. UNCI held to last of six additional Renville principles and argued any different policy would incite dissident and revolutionary groups Indonesia just at time sovereignty transferred over entire area and when both parties should exert best efforts toward strong RIS. UNCI made clear its opinions of self-determination constituted basis for realistic discussion but were not intended as arbitrary decision which had to be taken word-for-word. Signed Cochran.

  1. Repeated in telegram 552, November 4, 4 p. m., to Batavia.
  2. Supra.
  3. For text, see Department of State Bulletin, March 14, 1948, p. 325.
  4. Dr. Frank P. Graham, then President of the University of North Carolina and U.S. member of the UN Security Council GOC, Batavia, until March 30, 1948.