501.BC Indonesia/9–2849: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Netherlands


842. Ushic 21. As you know Dept has long held view that best interest of both Neth and USI as well as strategic interest US best served by retention by Neth on voluntary and agreed basis of naval bases Sourabaya and possibly elsewhere. Apparent there are several serious indications including your conversations Darma Setiawan and [Page 502] Subyakto (Hicus 411 that Indos have set face against such arrangement. Dept. believes it might be wise in premise to defer substantive discussions matter of bases until settlement has been reached on remaining outstanding issues including status New Guinea (telegram will follow2), withdrawal Neth forces, economic and financial arrangements, representation of “significant interests”. This view, incidentally, coincides with that of Brit as expressed in conversation with Dening.3

Dept thinks your reply to Subyakto proper in the circumstances since it leaves US position flexible. It would be desirable for you meanwhile to impress upon Indos when appropriate occasion arises fact that provision of base rights in itself no derogation sovereignty of grantor. In this connection you could cite happy experience US base rights Philippines, UK base rights with various members Brit Commonwealth.

Indos probably partly influenced toward their present negative position by belief that USSR and satellites would veto UN membership if such base rights granted. If you think desirable you should tell Indos that in view US if USSR vetoes USI membership UN it will do so for other reasons than base rights, including democratic political orientation Indos. Here you might find useful cite history recent Sov vetoes application membership UN including Ceylon.

  1. Telegram 852, September 28, not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Maberly E. Dening, British Assistant Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.