756D.00/3–2950: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Indonesia


319. Embtel 450 Mar 29,1 455 Mar 30, and Gocus 852 Mar 102 and 412 Mar 23. We have been following with close attn question of unitary versus federal state in Indo. Fol are Dept views this matter:

A. RUSI leaders bear strong responsibility to Indo people to adhere principle democratic determination of political relationship certain areas with RUSI and with other constitutent negaras (primarily Republic). Spirit and to considerable extent letter of Linggadjati, Renville and 1949 Agreements3 call for determination situation future Indo Govt by people.

Consistent US support 1946–1949 for legitimate natl aspiration of Indos rested in good measure upon confidence and reliance promises Indo leaders that Indo Govt wld estab and fol democratic principles.

B. Provisional Indo constitution contains important guarantees for determination by the people of the status which their respective territories shld occupy within RUSI.

Dept does not suggest that final RUSI Govt structure be determined through plebiscite or any other particular type of election. We recognize that method of determining popular will must correspond to realities of local customs and politics and that final wish of people may very well be to establish strong unitary govt along lines structure now emerging. Important principle, however, is that internal structure be determined by democratic processes. If this principle followed, Dept not concerned final structure RUSI Govt.

Dept concerned lest RUSI may employ emergency clause provisional constitution such a way as to vitiate determination final structure RUSI Govt by democratic processes. If other non-Commie nations gain idea that RUSI disregards provisional constitution’s [Page 998]procedures in establishing internal structure, serious doubts may be raised on other matters of vital importance future RUSI relations; e.g. willingness meet international commitments, protection foreign property and enterprises, etc.

C. Amalgamation territories and negaras with Republic is primarily question internal structure RUSI. Yet this movement has implications re whether certain territories will or will not be assoc with RUSI. Latter problem dealt with Art 2 Hague agreement on Transitional Measures. This respect Dept puzzled implication Gocus 852 that as result current legislation, external self-determination may not be matter for UNCFI participation. Inasmuch as that problem is expressly covered Hague agreement and referred to Jan 28 SC Res, decision this issue cannot be made unilaterally by Indos or UNCFI.

Dept believes Dutch may not now be in position to protest effectively current developments because of Neth haste to transfer sovereignty before holding of elections; creation of artificial negaras; and possible damaging implications Westerling and other affairs. Despite weakened Neth position this matter and its consequent reluctance to raise issue, Indo measures that direction may be source of smoldering Dutch resentment, harming Union relationship. Inasmuch as UN–SC must consider Indo case at least once more and both SC and GA may discuss RUSI membership UN, self-determination issue may be subjected critical international scrutiny with important consequences RUSI.4

Urtel 450, Mar 29 and 455, Mar 30 indicate growing seriousness this problem, particularly with respect East Indo, Dept thinks that danger arises from TNI whose action may precipitate serious trouble. We leave to ur discretion representations which you may see fit to make. Suggest that among RUSI leaders Jogja Sultan shld be made aware considerations outlined above in hope they will act as restraining influence.

Dept wld appreciate ur recommendations on what action it might take usefully vis-à-vis Neth Govt and Indo Emb here.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed; in it Dow reported that it was becoming increasingly clear that plebiscites would not be held in the Negaras to determine whether they would rejoin the Republic of Indonesia. Nor was it likely that elections would be held in the near future. Dow also reported that the UNCI would make an informal approach to the Dutch and Indonesians during the Union Conference “to discuss functions UNCI in light hitherto smooth implementation RTC agreements.” (357.AA/3–1050)
  3. For documentation relating to the negotiation of the Linggadjati and Renville Agreements, see Foreign Relations, 1947, vol. vi, pp. 890 ff., and ibid., 1948, vol. vi, pp. 68 ff.; for documentation on the agreements reached on May 7, 1949, and at the Round Table Conference, see ibid., 1949, vol. vii, Part 1, pp. 407 ff.
  4. In telegram 353, April 14, to Djakarta, not printed, the Department of State transmitted the text of a note that van Kleffens had left with Dean Rusk, Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, in which the Dutch reviewed the course of events in Indonesia since their memorandum of March 21 and stated that the “whole procedure of integrating constituent states into Republic of Indo in Djocjacarta, is at variance with Round Table agreements.…” In view of these facts the Dutch asked the United States to give the Indonesian Government “such advice at early date as wld seem calculated to check dangerous developments.” The Department of State advised Ambassador Cochran that he should continue to counsel Indonesian officials along the lines of telegram 319 and left to his discretion the timing and officials with whom he should talk. (756D.00/4–1450)