§ 10. Mr. Driberg
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what is the present state of the negotiations between the Dutch and the Indonesian representatives; if he is aware that recent largelandings of Dutch troops have endangered the success of these negotiations and been followed by renewed outbreaks of violence, with consequent increases in British, Indonesian and Dutch casualties; and when the intention to land these troops at this time was communicated to the Indonesian representatives.
The first formal meeting between Dr. van Mook and Dr. Sjahrir since the latter received a mandate to negotiate with the Dutch took place in Sir A. Clark Kerr's house in Batavia, on 13th March, and a further meeting was held on the 16th. For the time being it would clearly be out of place for me to make any detailed statement. As regards the second part of the Question, there is no evidence that the recent landings of Dutch troops have affected the negotiations or have been directly responsible for any increase in violence. As regards the third part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply today to a later Question by my hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead (Mr. Zilliacus).
§ Mr. Warbey
Can the hon. Gentleman say whether British troops are being withdrawn pari passu with the landing of Dutch troops?
§ Mr. Gallacher
Is it not the case that British troops were sent there for the purpose of rounding up the Japanese, and not for keeping the Indonesians in subjection until Dutch troops arrive to take over?
§ 14. Mr. Zilliacus
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why an agreement was concluded with the Dutch Government before the opening of the Dutch-Indonesian negotiations to send Dutch troops to Indonesia; whether Dr. Sjahrir was informed of this arrangement before entering upon conversations with Dr. Van Mook; and what views have been expressed by the Indonesian negotiators on the Dutch troop landings.
The despatch of Dutch troops to various parts of the Netherlands 1504 East Indies, including Java, has been in progress for some time, and the recent landings in Java were a continuation of this process, and therefore not the subject ofany specific agreement with the Netherlands Government. Sir Archibald Clark Kerr informed Dr. Sjahrir of the arrangements for the landings on the evening of 7th March, that is two days before the landings began and six days before negotiations were resumed with Dr. Van Mook; on 12th March, the day before the resumption of negotiations, Dr. Sjahrir lodged with the British Force Commander a protest against the re-entry of these troops.
§ Mr. Zilliacus
Will the Government make it clear that in no circumstancescan this situation be utilised to reimpose Dutch rule, directly or indirectly, with the aid of the British occupation Forces, and arrangements made with the Dutch?
§ Mr. Thurtle
Is it not very desirable that as soon as possible the British troops should be replaced by Dutch troops?
It is the desire of the Government that our troops in all theatres should be released as soon as possible.