Pancasila Mansion was built in 1830 as a residence for the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Netherlands Armed Forces in the East Indies, who was concurrently Lieutenant Governor-General. Previously the Commander had lived in a residence on the present location of the Roman Catholic Cathedral. By a decree dated December 5, 1828, this residence was sold to the Roman Catholic Church Foundation at the price of 20,000 guilders. The Foundation then demolished the building and erected a church.
Since the Commander-in-Chief’s residence had been sold, a new house was required. This was erected in a beautiful estate known thereafter as Hertog’s Park, name derived from Hertog Van Saksen Weirmar who had served as Commander-in-Chief in the Netherlands East-Indies from 1848 to 1851. The name was later changed to Pejambon Park, a part of the grounds of which can still be seen in front of the Pancasila Building. A military compound was also located in the Pejambon area.
The Commander-in-Chief resided at Hertog’s Park until 1916. During 1914-1917, the Netherlands East Indies Department of War Affairs was moved to Bandung, as was the Commander-in-Chief.
The Netherlands East Indies Government possibly considered the former residence of the Commander-in-Chief as being sufficiently representative for the meeting of the “council of the people’s representative” (Volksraad), for it was inaugurated on May 1918 as the People’s Council Building by Governor-General the Count of Limburg Stirum. In the catalogue of the exhibition commemorating the three-hundredth anniversary of the city of Batavia held by the museum in Amsterdam on June and July 1919, it was noted that the People’s Council Building has also been used by the Council of the East Indies (Raad van Indie). The Government later build a separate building for the Council of the East Indies, that is the building to the west of the People’s Council, at Pejambon No. 2.
The People’s Council had very limited jurisdiction. Initially it was only invested with the right to advise the Government, however in 1927 the Council was granted the power to enact legislation together with the Governor-General. Nevertheless, this had little significance inasmuch as the Governor-General held the right to veto.
During its fourteen years of existence (1927-1941), the People’s Council was able to submit only six bills, three of which were accepted by the Government.
As the building of the “Committee to Investigate Preparations for Independence” (BPUPKI)
The Dutch Government declared war on Japan just after japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour on December 8, 1941. in the encounter with the Sixteenth Japanese Army under the command of Lieutenant-General mamura, the Dutch defences collapsed within a shor time and at the end, Lieutenant-General Ter Poorten, Commander of the Netherlands Armed Forces in the Netherlands East Indies, surrendered unconditionally to the Japanese on March 8, 1942.
In 1943, the Japanese Military Government in Indonesia established the Tyuuoo Sangi-In, that is a Central Advisory Body, in Jakarta. The Body’s function was to submit proposals to the Government and to reply to Geovernment queries on political matters as well as to advise as to what steps should be taken by the Japanese Military Gobvernment. Total membership of the Tyuuoo Sangi-In was forty-three persons, comprising twenty-three appointed by the Saiko Syikikan (Supreme Authority of the Japanese Military Government), eighteen persons representing the seventeen syu (residency) and the Batavia Tokubetsu Syi (Special Municipality of Jakarta), and two delegates from the Special Territories of Yogyakarta and Surakarta.
The firs and subsequent sessions of the Tyuuoo Sangi-In were held in the former People’s Council Building, at Pejambon 6, Jakarta. In the meeting commencing October 16 to 20, 1943, four committees were set up to reply to questions deriving from the Saiko Syikikan on how to win the Pacific War. As the Japanese authorities attended and supervised th meetings, it is understandable that the members ere not free from their wishes, shich is firstly, that the entire labour potential be mobilized, and secondly, that production be increased for the needs of the war machine.
The Pacific War did not always benefit Japan. After the Allies, especially the United States of America, succeeded in consolidating themselves, the Pacific Island were reconquered step by step and island by island. The Japanese Occupation Forces in Indonesia were likewise threatened, particularly from the air. In this defensive position, Japan was in need of full support, including that of the Indonesian people. For this reason, in a special sesiion of the Japanese Parliament, the eighty-fifth Taikoku Gikal held in Tokyo on September 7, 1944, Prime Minister Koise pledged independence for Indonesia “at some time in the future”. When the Japaneses war effort began to crumble and the entire line of defence in the Pacific was threatened, the Saiko Syikikan announced on March 1, 1945 the formation of the “Dokuritsu Zyunbi Tjoosakai,” that is the “Committee to Investigate Prepartions for Independence” (BPUPK). The political reason for establishing this body was to gain the continued support of the Indonesian people, evethough the Japaneses military occupation of the Pacific Front was already insecure.
The task of this body was to study problems related to political, economic and administrative matters, prerequisites to the formation of an independent Indonesia “some time in the future”.
The ceremony to inaugurate the Committee to Investigate Preparations for Independence on May 28, 1945 was held in the former People’s Council Building attended by General Itakagi, Commander of the Seventh Teritory, and Lieutenant-General Nagano, Commander of the Sixteenth Army in Java. As a part of the ceremony, the Japanese flag, the Hinomaru, was flown by Mr. A.G. Pringgodigdo, and the Indonesian flag, Sang Merah Putin (the Red-and-White), was hoisted by Toyohiko Masuda. The BPUPK met from may 29 to June 1, 1945 and continued from July 10 to July 17, 1945. the meetings were conducted in the former People’s Council Building, or that known during the Japanese period as the Tyuuoo Sangi-In Building, the present Pancasila Building.
On the evening of August 15, 1945, a group of young people urged Bung karno to proclaim Indonesian independence immediately. An agreement could not be reached, therefore early in the morning of August 16th, Bung Karno and Bung Hatta were “taken into custody” to Rengasdengklok by the youths. Later on that morning the members of the Preparatory Committee for Indonesian Independence left their quarters at Hotel des Indes, Gajahmada Street, for No. 6, Pejambon, to fulfill the invitation of the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman. However, the meeting could not take place, as the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Preparatory Committee for Indonesian Independence has not returned to Jakarta. In his book, “Bung Hatta Replies”,. Bung Hatta felt that should the meeting have eventuated, it would have been possible that the proclamation of Independence could have taken place on August 16, 1945 at Pejambon 6. History, however, had it otherwise. Independence was proclaimed on August 17, 1945 at 56, Pegangsaan Timur.
Early in 1950, the building which had recorded so many important events, formerly the home of the People’s Council and the Tyuuoo Sangi-In and now known to us as the Pancasila Building, was handed over to the Department of Foreign Affairs. No records have as yet been found nor has any person come forward clearly identifying the person who named the building at 6 Pejambon, the PANCASILA BUILDING. The name “Pancasila Building” became rather better known when on June 1, 1964, the anniversary of the birth of Pancasila was commemorated there on a national level, which ceremony was attended by Presiden Soekarno and Vice-Presiden Dr. Mohammad Hatta.
Upon the completion of its restoration, coinciding with the thirtieth anniversary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, on August 19, 1945, the Presient of the Republic of Indonesia, Soeharto, unveiled a commemoration plaque, marking the inauguration of the building situated at 6 Pejambon, Jakarta as the PANCASILA BUILDING. The ceremony was witnessed by the Vice-President of the Republic of Indonesia, Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX, the first Vice-President of the Republic of Indonesia, Dr. Mohammad Hatta, the Cabinet Ministers, Head of Mission of friendly countries and other invitees