MN Roy

Letter to Henk Sneevliet

Date: 1926
Source: Henk Sneevliet Papers, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam (pdf)
Transcription/HTML Markup: Mike Bessler
Public Domain: Marxists Internet Archive (2010). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.

Dear Comrade:

I hope you have received my letter written several weeks ago. There has not been any response from your side all this time. I have been, however, keeping myself fairly well informed, about the situation in your party.

At last we are sending someone to Java. Unfortunately the one available candidate is by no means suitable for the job. But we must have some direct contact with the Party there in order to have detailed and reliable reports on the situation. The conditions there appear to be very difficult. The Party is obviously under Ultra-left leadership which is practically mining the movement. To make the situation still worse Putschist tendencies are coming to the forefront.

Darsana arrived about a month ago but he could give us hardly any fresh information having been in jail seven months and another two months on the way. A few days ago Bergsma forwarded a letter from Malaka and extracts from a letter from some other comrade in Java. The letter of Malaka contained very interesting information. The letter from Java also testified to the alarming development of Putschists inside the Party. By the way, why doesn't Bergsma forward the full text of the letters that he receives from Java.

We have had some prolonged discussions with Samoun on the question of the Action Programme of the Indonesian Party. I was surprised to find that he continues in his old point of view as regards the movement for national liberation. Darsana also supports him in this, He claims that the members of the Central Committee in Java are much more to the Left. The divergence of views was so fundamental that it was not possible to adopts a programme of action without an official condemnation of Samoun and the tendency he represents. We are of the point of view that this course would, not be wise. We should act more diplomatically. First of all it is necessary to determine what really is the opinion of the leading comrades in Java. This can not be done unless we can send somebody to investigate the matter on the spot and make a report. Comrade Miller, who will soon be on his way, is being sent for this purpose. He is not going as a representative of the Communist International to help the reorganisation of the Party and guide it politically but merely to investigate the situation and report. Any definite action on the part of the Communist International will be postponed till his reports are available.

New there seems to be numerous difficulties on the way. Neither Samoun nor Darsana could give us the address of one reliable legal comrade through whom Miller could have contact with the Party. The only address they have given is that of one Doctor Kwa of Batavia. He is a Chinese and Samoun says he is a member of the Party though not publicly known. While giving this address Samoun expressed his doubt whether Kwa's relation with the Party is still unknown to the police. Samoun suggested that one or two Javanese students from Holland should accompany Miller in order to help him get contact with the He mentioned Soebardjo of Leiden and Gatot of Den Haag as possible candidates but he admits that they are not members of the Party nor do they give us their exact addresses, His proposition was that either Darsana or nimself should go to Holland to look up these men in order to instruct them as regards the nature of their mission. rejected the proposition for it was too costly and very uncertain.

Comrade Miller will be able to accomplish the task entrusted to him only in the case that he gets from you or other Dutch comrades the addresses of reliable persons in Java through whom he can have contact with the Party. I believe you will be able to help him in this respect. It was not possible for us to acquaint him clearly with the inner situation of the Party. Te will have to receive this information from you. Advise him which places lie should visit and which leading members of the Party he should particularly look up.

His instructions are not to act in such a way as might precipitate a crisis inside the Party. We consider that would be very dangerous under the present conditions. But he will communicate to the Party the general outlines of the policy which the Communist International thinks should be ado ted by the Indonesian Party. These outlines are contained in a draft programme of action which he will deliver to the leading members of the Party as suggestions from the Communist International. Copies of this document are enclosed herewith. Miller cannot carry anything on him so you will have to find a way of sending these things to him in Java. Besides you must give Miller addresses in Holland where he can send letters and telegrams.

Both Samoun and Darsang were against Miller's going to Holland on his way. In order not to create unnecessary friction Miller's visit to you is not known to them. I hope you will -take note of this and advise the other comrades to act accordingly. Please write to me as soon as Miller has left and how everything concerning his trip has been arranged.

With Communist greetings,


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