Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs ( Butterworth ) to the Counselor of the Department ( Bohlen )


Subject: United States objectives in Indonesian situation.

At the present stage of developments in the Indonesian situation, I believe the United States Government should seek the attainment of two objectives: (a) to contribute in every practical way to a solution of the Indonesian problem; (b) to place itself in the best possible light with the Asiatic and Islamic countries whose sympathy with the Indonesian Republic is great. To accomplish these objectives I believe the Department should take the following action:

In respect of (a): Direct Dr. Jessup to speak in the Security Council to the end that the United States fully and finally dissociate itself from Netherlands police action, place the blame for the rupture of negotiations squarely on the Netherlands, and compel the Netherlands to state in practical and definite terms its plans for a solution of the Indonesian problem. Dr. Jessup should therefore introduce at the earliest possible moment in the meeting of the Security Council a resolution of the sort attached hereto as Appendix A.1 If this resolution is offered early enough in the proceedings of the Security Council, it should obviate the possibility of other members offering resolutions of an undesirable or impractical character.
In respect of (b): The Acting Secretary should tell the Netherlands Ambassador2 (a) that the Netherlands Government’s resort to force has provided the Soviet Union with excellent propaganda material, has widened the split between East and West, and offers a serious point of difference between the peoples of Europe and America; (b) that the Netherlands resort to force has so aroused public opinion in the United States, that, unless adequate measures are taken by the Netherlands Government in the immediate future, the Congress may feel called upon to take such action in respect of ECA aid to the Netherlands as seriously to jeopardize progress in North Atlantic Security arrangements; (c) that the United States Government accordingly hopes that the Netherlands will immediately (1) release all political prisoners taken since December 18, 1948, (2) announce to the Security Council at the earliest possible moment the plans of the Netherlands Government for Indonesia with special reference to the holding of free and democratic elections on a date to be agreed upon by the Netherlands and Indonesian leaders, including recognizable [Page 137] leaders of the Indonesian Republic, and in respect of the immediate announcement of the date on which sovereignty will be transferred by the Netherlands to the United States of Indonesia, and (3) move immediately in the Security Council to the dissolution of the Committee of Good Offices or at least to our withdrawal from that body. This action is to be taken because we warned the Dutch that we would do so, because Mr. Cochran believes it should be done, and because the Committee of Good Offices can no longer serve any purpose in Indonesia save to act as a smokescreen for the pursuit by the Netherlands of its plans in that area.

  1. Draft not attached to file copy.
  2. Dr. Eelco N. van Kleffens.