January 17, 1948 – NBC News Of The World – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
January 17, 1948 – major news from The Dutch East Indies to start the day. Word that a truce between the Dutch Military and Indonesian rebels was signed aboard an American Transport ship anchored off Batavia. The war almost got lost in the blizzard of Independence news of late, but the issue in the Dutch East Indies had been going on for a while, since before the war but it was only during the past year that fighting had erupted on the islands of Sumatra, Madura and Java.
On 19 December, the Dutch prime minister visited Medan and said there must be a quick resolution and that it would be “most regrettable if this last appeal, this last appeal, were not understood”. Ten days later, Van Mook announced the establishment of the State of East Sumatra, thus indicating that the Dutch were going ahead with the establishment of a federal state. Then on 4 January 1948, the Dutch organized a conference of representatives they had selected from ten regions of Indonesia. These representatives agreed to form an interim federal government pending the establishment of the United States of Indonesia. The Republic of Indonesia was invited to join as minority partner.
Known as The Renville Agreement, it was a United Nations Security Council-brokered political accord between the Netherlands, which was seeking to re-establish its colony in South East Asia, and Indonesian Republicans seeking to secure Indonesian independence during the Indonesian National Revolution. Ratified on 17 January 1948, the agreement was an unsuccessful attempt to resolve the disputes that arose following the 1946 Linggadjati Agreement. It recognised a cease-fire along the Status Quo Line (Status Quo lijn) or so-called “Van Mook Line”, an artificial line which connected the most advanced Dutch positions.
The agreement is named after USS Renville, the ship on which the negotiations were held while anchored in Jakarta Bay.
In other news – Fighting again erupted overnight in Palestine as tensions increased to the breaking point between Arabs and Jews with the British stuck in the middle. Things would only get worse.
And the 1948 Presidential Election season was off and running with Thomas E. Dewey throwing his hat in the ring.
It was a day that would pretty much sum up the year in one 24 hour period.
All that, and a lot more for January 17, 1948 as reported by NBC’s News Of The World With John Cameron Swayze.
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