Indonesia contributed to the rebuilding of the Netherlands (1950-1957)

On December 27, 1949 Queen Juliana signed the transfer of sovereignty in the Palace on the Dam in Amsterdam, which ended the existence of the Dutch Indies. Indonesia was from now an independent state.

However, much time and many month of negotiations were spent at the Round Table conference (RTC) in The Hague. Four parties attended, namely a Dutch Delegation, a Delegation from the Republic, which was proclaimed by Soekarno on August 17, 1949, a Delegation of Federalists from other parts and islands of Indonesia, a United Nations Committee (Unci). Meetings were prolonged; proposals were rejected and replaced. One Subject brought to the table by The Netherlands was the debt issue, which required a long time.
The Netherlands subpoenas and demanded a status as a privileged trading partner. This meant that all benefits to investment and profits from about 3 billion guilders of private Dutch property investments remained Dutch and had to be transferred at an attractive rate to Netherlands. This was recorded in a financial arrangement; Finec!

However, the Netherlands was still not satisfied. They do not want to give up the island of New Guinea. They wanted New Guinea to remain a colony. Their goal was to move all the Dutch-Indo’s from the islands to their latest colony and not to the Netherlands. And they also had in mind the rich mineral resources of New Guinea such as bauxite, copper, gold and oil.
Immediately after the transfer of sovereignty the distrust grew between the partners of the Union. Both partners are not willing to understand each other. Both Drees and Luns had their own policy without taking in account the wishes of their Indonesian partners.
Meanwhile the Indonesians persisted and made New Guinea the main theme of all kind of speeches.
On the other hand, The Netherlands already made a revision to the Constitution in 1956 that New Guinea is Dutch territory. Especially the insensibility of Mr. Luns made the Geneva Conference a complete failure. The created Union between the two countries was denounced and on August 4, 1956 the Indonesian Government stopped the payment of debts to The Netherlands.

Just over a year later, due to the New Guinea problem, all Dutch properties were confiscated by the Indonesian Government.

However, in the Netherlands most people were not aware, that when Indonesia stopped paying its debts, they already had paid nearly 4 billion guilders. The residual debt was still 650 million guilders.

Also during the period 1948 to 1953 The Netherlands had received 1127 billion Marshall Aid as a loan.
Most people in the Netherlands had in mind that thank to the Marshall Aid they could rebuild their country. But the Indonesian debt payment was completely overlooked. Also, during the same period, all capital income, pensions and savings were transferred from Indonesia to the Netherlands. All income of the Dutch companies were flowing to the Netherlands to cover the poor years in the fiftieth.
The annual contribution was an average of 8% and the New Guinea issue made a stop to it.

During the period 1950 to 1957 Indonesia had contributed to the rapid post-war industrialization of the Netherlands, which was known in Europe as “Le miracle Hollandais!”

Part of the above information came from an article of the “Groene Amsterdammer” by Mr. Lambert Giebels.

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