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Dutch East Indies

Volume 416: debated on Monday 19 November 1945

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if he is aware that the then Minister of Works and Communications of the Republican Government of Indonesia informed the senior staff officer of the 23rd Division, on 5th October, that Indonesians offered full co-operation in the transporting of internees and prisoners of war; why this offer was not accepted; and why the Minister was informed that the British would only issue their orders through the Japanese military authorities.

No, Sir, I have no information regarding the offer of co-operation alleged to have been made in Indonesia to the senior staff officer of the 23rd Division on 5th October.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that such a report was published in "The Times" on 8th October and was given wide publicity in other publications, and will he, therefore, go into the matter and report to this House as soon as possible, as it is possible that this may have been one of the original bases for the present troubles prevailing in the Far East?

I could not accept any Press report from however responsible a journal. His Majesty's Government have received no official information, but if my hon. Friend wishes to pursue the matter, perhaps he will put a Question down to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War.


asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether the Dutch Government have informed him of their policy in relation to Indonesia; and on what terms Dr. Van Mook is authorised to negotiate on their behalf.

On 6th November, at Batavia, Dr. Van Mook issued a full statement of the policy of the Dutch Government in the Netherlands Indies. His Majesty's Government were informed of this declaration before it was published. For the convenience of hon. Members, I will place a copy of it in the Library of the House.

Could not my right hon. Friend use his influence to stop the Dutch from making stupid attacks upon Dr. Van Mook, because they only weaken his position and leave the British holding the baby?

Is it not becoming increasingly obvious to my right hon. Friend that the desire of the Hague Government to negotiate decreases in proportion as our military support increases; and will he, therefore, make it clear to the Government of the Hague that it is not our task, and it is not our intention, to restore the status quo ante, but that it is our job to try and facilitate every negotiation between the Indonesians and the Dutch Government?

I could not at all accept the statement of the matter put forward by my hon. and gallant Friend. I would call his attention to the fact that a meeting was held on Saturday last, and that another is to be held on Thursday, and perhaps we had better not do anything to muddy the water in the meantime.