Round Table Conference of 1949

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Round Table Conference of 1949


a conference held at The Hague from Aug. 23 to Nov. 2, 1949, with representatives from the Netherlands, the Republic of Indonesia, and the federation of puppet governments created by Dutch imperialists on Indonesian territory. The sovereignty of the former Dutch colonies in the Netherlands Indies (Indonesia) was declared and legally defined at the conference.

In accord with the documents adopted at the Round Table Conference, Indonesia became a federal republic. The Republic of the United States of Indonesia included the Republic of Indonesia and the 15 state unions that had been formed by the Dutch colonists with the aid of local feudal lords and the comprador bourgeoisie. The Netherlands Indonesia Union was created, whereby Indonesia was obliged to cooperate with the Netherlands in foreign policy, defense, and culture. A number of shackling conditions were imposed in economic and financial areas. For example, Indonesia was obliged to pay the debts incurred by the former colonial government of the Netherlands Indies, and the system of taxation of foreign companies had to leave them guaranteed “sufficient profits.” A military agreement granted the Dutch the right to maintain a large military mission for “training” the Indonesian Army, and Dutch naval forces were permitted to remain in Indonesian waters. The West Irian question was not resolved at the conference, and the status quo there was preserved.

The agreements concluded at the conference infringed upon Indonesian sovereignty. The Netherlands essentially obtained the right to assert supremacy in Indonesia while maintaining a deceptive facade of Indonesian independence. The Indonesian national liberation movement succeeded in gradually freeing Indonesia from the onerous decisions of the conference. A unitary republic was reestablished in August 1950. In 1953 the Dutch military mission was dismissed from the country. The Netherlands Indonesia Union was dissolved on Aug. 10, 1954, and on Apr. 21, 1956, the Indonesian parliament annulled all the onesided agreements concluded at the conference.


Round Table Conference. The Hague, 1949.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.