501.BC Indonesia/1–1449 [1–449]: Telegram

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

secret   urgent
niact

21. Gocus 525. Events of last three days have so confirmed my view that dissolution GOC should be effected soon as possible that I am sending this further message without awaiting Department’s reaction to Gocus 517.1 GOC will send SC telegraphic report incorporating recent correspondence with Netherlands Delegation and detailing other recent developments late Thursday 6 January Batavia time. If Department intends moving for early dissolution GOC, I recommend I be authorized make effort to have GOC itself recommend its dissolution in this report. Believe effect on public opinion will be greatest and position of GOC and its members will be clearest if initiative if possible taken by GOC itself. We cannot guarantee GOC colleagues will agree to making such recommendation in report but, on basis informal expressions of personal opinion, believe there is more than even chance of winning unanimity.

Please see paragraph two Schuurman letter quoted Gocus 524.2 Now apparent Colombian resolution and undefined relationship GOC and Consular Commission will be used skillfully by Netherlands to stalemate performance even limited reporting function remaining to GOC.

At 1700 hours chairman and other members GOC MilEx Board called on Colonel Thomson, Netherlands General Staff, as per paragraph one, Schuurman letter. Thomson stated no answer to Schuurman letter 3 January (Gocus 521)3 yet received from Consular Commission and that General Spoor will have to consider status of military observes and decide whether they worked for GOC on [or] Consular Commission before plans can be worked out for their return to field. Spoor now out of town. Activities of military observers when, as and if they go to posts will be determined by orders issued to local [Page 127]Netherlands Brigade Commanders. Thomson avoided discussion of details of facilities needed from Netherlands for operations military observers. Chairman MilEx Board left meeting with definite conclusion that whole object Thomson was to delay and that there was no indication of any present intention on part of Thomson that military observers return to field at any foreseeable time. Thomson will let MilEx Board know when he is in position to discuss plans further.

Any observation compliance cease hostilities part SC resolution 24 December entirely meaningless in light fact that there has been no Netherlands compliance even by verbal formula and reasonable compliance with resolution no longer possible. Note paragraph four of Schuurman letter dealing therewith and that dissemination order presumably terminating hostilities December 31 not begun until 1845, January 2 and must have reached unit commanders much later. When asked at press conference January 3 about order, spokesman Netherlands staff said Republican Artillery Commander had not been informed of order by Netherlands and stated “there no need inform opponents since whole Java occupied. There is no regular Republican Army any more.” When asked what happened Republican Army 200,000 men, spokesman replied “only Commander in Chief Netherlands Army can answer you.” When asked how scattered Republican units in Java would know of cease-fire acceptance, spokesman answered “when they wish to follow SC resolution, they must do it for themselves.” Note paragraph two of Spoor’s order quoted Gocus 521 leaves ample room for all Netherlands military operations present military situation will involve.

Believe clear that GOC now in position where it can function even as reporter only at Netherlands sufferance and even then only within such limited zones as Netherlands may consider expedient. Believe further activities of GOC run risk of recognizing Netherlands action as fait accompli and inconsistent with [apparent garble] independent status as SC organ. Apart entirely from very real question of propriety involved, if only limited reporting functions can be performed, this can be done by Consular Commission rather than GOC which is not geared to and as fulltime group, too expensive machine for pure reporting. GOC was set up primarily for negotiations. With access to only one party, in fact with only one party now effectively existing, with Netherlands Delegation here referring all queries to Hague from which apparently no truly responsive answer is ever received; without any clear-cut basis of action, GOC by further action runs risk of seeming to condone Netherlands action without possibility of any compensating advantage either to Indonesian or to other interests.

My recommendation does not preclude continuing efforts by Department [Page 128]to achieve as reasonable settlement as possible. This, however, must now be made in Washington, Hague and other capitals (see Gocus 5234 on British Consulate General proposals). Anything attempted here will not only lack effectiveness of direct dealing with highest responsible authorities but runs grave risk of crossing Department wires, particularly in light of slow communications between Department and US Delegation.

Gocus 5205 refers to purely personal efforts that might be attempted only if various conditions precedent these enumerated were fully performed and after dissolution GOC. It has no relationship therefore to recommendations made here.

If Department desires that I seek to get dissolution recommendation in GOC report of January 6, essential I receive NIACT instructions no later than early morning January 6 Batavia time. Signed Cochran.

Livengood
  1. Telegram 1, January 1, not printed.
  2. Telegram 19, January 4, not printed.
  3. Telegram 9, January 3, p. 121.
  4. Telegram 17, January 4, not printed.
  5. Telegram 8, January 3, p. 119.