501.BC Indonesia/1–349

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Assistant Chief of the Division of South Asian Affairs (Sparks)1

Participants: Sir Benegal Rama Rau—Ambassador of India
Mr. Walton W. Butterworth—FE
Mr. J. C. Satterthwaite—NEA
Mr. Dean Rusk—UNA
Mr. T. S. P. Ram—Personal Secretary to the Ambassador
Mr. J. S. Sparks—SOA

The Indian Ambassador opened the conversation by referring once again to India’s deep concern over the situation in Indonesia, indicating that India would appreciate being informed of the nature of the action contemplated by the United States, and urging that the U.S. stop ECA aid to Holland.

Mr. Butterworth stressed that the U.S. approach to the Indonesian problem was multilateral through the United Nations and that a resort to unilateral punishment of Holland by cancellation of ECA would establish a dangerous precedent of attempting to achieve solutions to world problems by direct individual nation approach and of employing economic aid to achieve political goals. He mentioned that Ambassador Henderson had already explained this to Sir Girja Bajpai, Secretary General of India’s Ministry of External Affairs, and that Bajpai had indicated his belief that Prime Minister Nehru now understood that the U.S. could not afford to set such a precedent. Sir Benegal said that he appreciated the fact that India and the U.S. had the same over-all objectives in this problem but that he could not help but feel that if the U.S. took a determined stand with the Western European countries, making our further participation in the Western Union and the continuation of ECA assistance contingent upon their support in the SC, effective action could be achieved. Mr. Rusk [Page 124] pointed out that in addition to the very great undesirability of our resorting to the use of economic instruments to achieve political aims, there was considerable question as to how effective the cancellation of ECA aid to Holland would actually be in view of the position of the Government of Holland vis-à-vis its own people. In so far as the U.S. assuming a full “chips are down” attitude toward the Indonesian problem, Mr. Rusk said that the whole future of the UN was involved in such a question as it would be difficult to choose which of numerous equally clear and equally important problems, such as the Berlin, Greek, or Palestine situations, the U.S. should attempt to solve by forcing other members of the UN to vote the way we wanted them to. He pointed out that it was obvious that such an approach, if adopted at all, could only result in the ultimate destruction of the UN, the support of which is the comer stone of both Indian and American foreign policy. Mr. Satterthwaite pointed out that he was confident that the Government of India would really be the last to wish to see the U.S. undertake a policy so close to “economic imperialism” as utilization of an ECA program in the manner suggested would be.

Reverting to the question of the Western Union, the Ambassador discussed at length the position in which the Far East would be placed, in his opinion, should the U.S. be successful in halting the spread of communism in Europe through this channel. He felt that such a halting would only mean that Russia would then turn the full force of its attentions to the Far East and specifically to India, which stands today as the only remaining effective stabilizing influence in the area. Mr. Butterworth said that in his opinion such would not be the result in as much as no matter how successful the Western Union might be as a military alliance, Russia would certainly not cease its efforts in Europe and that in any event the communists would follow every channel available to them for ideological propagation in the Far East regardless of developments in Europe. He said that rather than the Western Union it was unfortunate developments such as the current one hi Indonesia which provided the stimuli to communism in its focusing on the Far East.

Mr. Satterthwaite said that speaking of such incidents, he wished to take this opportunity to tell the Ambassador how very pleased we were over the measures adopted by India and Pakistan in the Kashmir problem and how hopeful we now were of an effective solution. The Ambassador replied that India’s action in agreeing to the proposals of the UN Commission on Kashmir was indicative of India’s urgent need for, and devotion to, the maintenance of peace. He pointed out that India had agreed to the further conditions despite the fact that the original report of the Commission had shown that it was [Page 125] Pakistan which had been at fault throughout. In particular he emphasized that India is interested in peace “frankly for selfish reasons” and that it must have peace if it is to achieve its economic and sociological growth which he said was the only hope of maintaining a democratic state in Asia today.

Mr. Rusk asked the Ambassador on the Indonesian question as to whether or not the GOI had any suggestions as to a practicable approach in the SC. The Ambassador replied that he did not have any such suggestions in his instructions and that he understood that the 13-nation conference being called by the Indian Prime Minister was for the purpose of determining in what ways the nations of the Near and Far East could be effective within the machinery of the UN on this one question. He said that in particular his instructions were to inquire as to the future plans of the U.S. Mr. Butterworth explained that the U.S. was in a difficult position in that its moderately worded resolution had failed to achieve a majority support in the SC. Mr. Rusk added that he thought it was possible that the European countries, including the Dutch, were more aware now than they had been at the time the resolution failed to pass, of the strength of the negative reaction of the American people to the Dutch action. He suggested that we would be interested in keeping in close touch with the Ambassador particularly following Dr. Jessup’s2 return from Europe at the end of the week. The Ambassador said that he was very anxious indeed to have another meeting before leaving for New York to represent India before the Security Council. The conversation was terminated with an agreement that such a meeting would be set up after Dr. Jessup’s return.

  1. Initialed by the Directors of the Offices of Far Eastern Affairs and of Near Eastern and African Affairs (Butterworth and Satterthwaite).
  2. Philip C. Jessup, member of the U.S. delegation at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in Paris.