CONFERENCES: Impasse Over Irian

Dutch newsmen at The Hague conference, where Indonesia and The Netherlands were trying to settle the status of West New Guinea (or Irian, as the Indonesians call it), knew that negotiations had reached a delicate impasse. It was no time to confront the sensitive Indonesians with a blunt question, so the newsmen last week delicately sounded out Foreign Minister Mohamed Rum. "Are you happy?" they asked. "I am not happy," answered Rum. What he meant was: "The conference has failed. The political weather ahead is bad."

In three weeks of palaver the Indonesians had clung to their demand that...

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