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Labor Action, 6 June 1949


R. Magnus

Readers of Labor Action Take the Floor ...

On Indonesia Policy


From Labor Action, Vol. 13 No. 23, 6 June 1949, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


To the Editor:

The time has come for Labor Action and the independent Socialist League to repudiate the policy of critical political support to the hangmen of the Dutch Republic, Hatta and Soekarno.

An AP dispatch from Java dated May 7, 1949, states that these two gentlemen have accepted the following three-point policy: (1) Issuance of an order to Republican guerrillas to cease their warfare; (2) Cooperation with the Dutch in restoration of peace and maintenance of order; and (3) Participation in the round-table conference at The Hague.

The meaning of this “compromise” is obvious: the Republican leadership which once, despite its compromises and capitulations, represented in a distorted way the needs and aspirations of the people for independence, has become a complete puppet of the Dutch. These “revolutionary intellectuals” will now become police-sergeants in charge of diping [sic!] out the guerrilla forces for their Dutch masters.

Had Jack Brad’s policy been followed, i.e., “joining freely with ... the social democrats – and without conditions,” and not creating an alternative arena of struggle (independent revolutionary army) but fighting under the military leadership and control of the Republican officers – if this policy had been followed, then the fate of Indonesian independence would be sealed. The new “residents” (an old word for native puppets of the Dutch) would now be in an ideal position to disarm and disperse Tanmalaka's revolutionary forces. As it is, to my knowledge, Tanmalaka will continue to fight the Dutch at the head of the Proletarian Party.

With this changed situation our position must be revised from that stated in my letter to Labor Action in the March 21 issue, to the following:

  1. Against the Jogjakarta government as a Dutch puppet regime.
  2. For continued, uncompromising armed struggle against the Dutch and their new residency.
  3. Political and material support to the Proletarian Party, headed by Tanmalaka.

R. Magnus


The letter column is always open to viewpoints on the questions raised by Comrade Magnus. Comrade Brad has been invited to reply. – Ed.

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