501.BC Indonesia/10–2149: Telegram

The Consul General at Batavia (Beam) to the Secretary of State 1

top secret   priority

831. Emphasis has shifted in local scene last few days and accordingly I would hesitate make representations Sukarno basis outlined Deptel 518.2 Despite last week-end flurry cease-fire, infringements were not a major issue and are not now since cease-fire on the whole being observed. Matter of fact, there has been increase local patrol agreements between Indonesian arid Dutch due reportedly desire TNI officers free their hands deal with Tan Malaka, extremists and Darul Islam elements. Dutch acknowledge there has been improvement contacts with Indonesian local commands. Reported turnover additional areas in East Java to Republican state police mobile brigade and turning over civil service in residency Madiun to Republican resident has also helped relieve situation there.

Standstill is extremely complicated matter, unlikely susceptible early agreement. Lovink told me he would not permit destruction negara administration. On other hand Federalists, possibly through absence their strongest leaders at Hague, said to be yielding Republic pressure and infiltration their areas. This respect Republic greatly aided growing nationalism encouraged by expectation early Indonesian independence.

Real point of gravity is question whether Republic able resist and control extremist pressure all sides. Dutch and certain US and other military reports certainly alarming. Consulate General has benefitted cooperation US-controlled sources and their reports give good picture tensions at play. Present unrest apparently due three factors:

Lack information re RTC which in eyes susceptible isolated Jogja politicians has bogged down in primary and relatively simple task [Page 545] providing earliest Indonesian independence. Consequently delay or rupture RTC proceedings would strengthen radical forces here.
Republic policy attempting disband, disarm hostile Communists and extremist guerrillas. Certain cases effort made to brigade the loyal TNI to detriment latter’s morale. Clashes also result information leaks to guerrillas scheduled for disarmament.
Probable struggle for power anticipation formation USI Government.

Certain military observers just returned believe Republicans have lost control south Bantam and that Tan Malaka elements are astride important Republic lines of communication west Java. Others acknowledge seriousness Republic predicament, particularly in political sphere, but consider latter are still masters of situation. Picture greatly confused through emotions interested parties compounded by lack of communications and first-hand information. Dutch talk of possible split Republic Cabinet on hypothesis local commanders in concluding agreements with Dutch are disobeying orders Sultan who is described as being in hands extremists and who is still insisting earliest implementation his program comprehensive Dutch withdrawals.

If Department and Cochran still consider it desirable I see Sukarno and Sultan,3 Dow and I recommend approach not take form representations re infringements cease-fire and standstill agreements except in general terms stress importance maximum observance. These matters now brought back into UNCI sphere where we feel efforts should be concentrated as long as possible. Most important question seems now relate internal Indonesian politics. If considered advisable I could with propriety request further interview with Sukarno who said he would welcome closer US contact. Reports involving specific allegations are current in sufficient number to make source disclosure unnecessary. Could express anxiety for Republic safety caused these reports. While Sukarno might not wish or be in position comment in detail, trust would be able keep exploratory conversation on equable plane as legitimate inquiry which US official entitled to make direct to highest Republic authority. Would recommend such approach, if authorized, not be made before October 24 since events next day or so might influence above considerations.

Sent Department 831; repeated The Hague 20.

  1. Repeated in telegram 558, October 24, 3 p. m., to New York (USUN).
  2. October 19, p. 538.
  3. For the Department’s reply, see footnote 5, p. 539.