501.BC Indonesia/10–1949: Telegram

The Consul General at Batavia (Beam) to the Secretary of State


827. Abbey and I just returned from Jogja where cordially received by Sukarno, Sultan and Acting Foreign Minister.

Sultan made no reference his recent provocative press statement but volunteered information excitement of last few days seems to be blowing over. Said no further incidents last two days and he wished discussions further military arrangements continue UNCI. Complained Dutch had failed notify him withdrawals to certain regencies, which was first news to us such withdrawals actually taking place (Congentel [Page 540] 8201). In reply my question re rumors that Communists, extremists and Darul Islam getting out of hand, Sultan said Republican Government at present in full control. He considered PKI under skillful direction Alimin greatest potential danger. Said Republicans just approached by Darul Islam leader for possible truce (this may or may not be significant drawing together Indonesia arrangements through recent fears new Dutch military action). Sultan calm, however, and thought military situation both sides could be held in check. Referred to report he had received that announcement would be made shortly at RTC of definite date transfer sovereignty and he thought this would have beneficial effect here.

Sukarno was considerably more radical in his statements, saying he was under great pressure Communists and “young TNI” regarding lack of RTC progress. He urged US force Dutch be reasonable particularly re finance and expressed fear Dutch following sovereignty transfer would only reluctantly relax controls. He continued he did not wish to drive Dutch out of Indonesia but would gladly have some stay as advisers. He expressed bitterness re artificial negaras, claiming spot check had convinced him population would vote 80 percent for Republicans and he would welcome earliest plebiscite.

In firm but friendly reply we pointed out RTC must remain primarily negotiate conference between Indonesians and Dutch and that US representative UNCI had already demonstrated willingness to be of help when needed. We said Indonesia had much to gain from final workable cooperative solution with Dutch. We expressed view RTC had made remarkable progress considering magnitude of problems and that Sukarno himself had perhaps been too modest in not wishing to boast of substantial advantages Indonesians had gained RTC. Urged him to make greater effort inform his people favorable course RTC with view tranquilizing local situation and refuting Communist charges. With both Sukarno and Sultan we stressed most strongly importance preventing local disturbances disturbing RTC and I mentioned I had made RTC representations to Dutch. Said it inconceivable that Indonesians would jeopardize through lack of patience or restraint favorable results that would accrue to them within matter of few months if not weeks.

For the moment recent flare-up seems to have calmed down here and Dow and I hopeful latest crisis may have been surmounted (Hicus 672). As first impression, am struck by nationalism prevalent Jogja and by lack effective contact between Indonesians and Dutch here and absence goodwill in measure evident The Hague. When agreements [Page 541] ripen at RTC, formal announcement re date conference conclusion and sovereignty transfer might be of help as above indicated by Sultan.

Sent Department 827; Department pass The Hague for Cochran.3

  1. October 17, not printed.
  2. Telegram 964, October 18, not printed.
  3. This was done the same day.