Memorandum by Mr. Frederick E. Nolting, Jr., of the Office of Western European Affairs, to the Secretary of State


Following Ambassador van Kleffens’ conversation with you on October 18, in which he sought US support for the Dutch position regarding Netherlands New Guinea and in which he expressed his Government’s concern at the increasing tension in Indonesia, the following actions have been taken:

Our Consul General at Batavia, Jake Beam, has made a trip to the Republican capital, Jogjakarta, where he impressed upon Soekarno the necessity of strict compliance with the truce. While we have not yet had a report from Beam,1 the Netherlands Counselor called on October 19 to say that Soekarno had issued a conciliatory and optimistic statement, which the Netherlands attributed to our influence. The Netherlands Counselor said that while it was too early to see the effect of Soekarno’s statement, he personally believed that it would ease the tension in Java. He thanked us for our action in this matter.
On the question of New Guinea, a telegram has been dispatched which requests Cochran to support the Dutch position as outlined in van Kleffens’ memorandum—to wit, that a final settlement of the issue of New Guinea be deferred, with the understanding that the Netherlands would seek a Dutch trusteeship over the area within the trusteeship system of the United Nations and would, after the establishment of the USI, seek further negotiations with the USI “with a view toward reaching agreement on the proper distribution of responsibilities [Page 544] for the area in conformity with Chapter XI of the Charter of the United Nations”.

While there are reports from Dutch sources, as noted above, of a more conciliatory attitude on the part of the Republican President, we think it is too early to conclude that the Republican Government can or will take the steps necessary to control its extremists. We recognize that the maintenance of the truce in Indonesia depends upon swift progress at The Hague Conference, and are doing our utmost to promote a successful conclusion of that conference.

  1. See telegram 827, October 19, p. 539.