There have been eleven reported instances of interception by the Dutch Navy in the Java Sea of British shipping carrying cargoes to and from Indonesian ports. According to our information the interceptions were made at or near the three-mile limit of territorial waters. The ships were subsequently escorted to Dutch controlled ports for examination of their cargoes, the journey usually taking place outside the limit of territorial waters. On 26th February and again on 12th March—in respect of the more recent incidents—the Netherlands Government were requested for an explanation and for an assurance that such incidents would not be repeated.
§ Mr. W. Fletcher
Is the Minister aware that protests have been made both by Lord Killearn and the Government of Singapore with the hope of clarifying the position so that proper trade between 13 Indonesia and the rest of the world will take place? Will he take some other action rather than wait and see?
I have already pointed out that we are not waiting to see. We have already twice asked for explanations of these incidents, and the reasons given in the answer to a previous Question, relating to the propriety of international action, apply in this case as well.