All the open spaces around the great naval airfield at Surabaya, Java, are set with bamboo stakes, about waist high, their tops whittled razor-sharp. A visiting journalist recently asked what they were for. The commander of the base explained that they were designed as an unpleasant reception for parachutists, and added: "When Holland first fell and we were very excited we put poison on the tips of all these stakes."

The sharp stakes of Surabaya were just one sign last week of the alertness of The Netherlands East Indies. The islands had new cause to be wary. Another Japanese negotiator was...

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