756D.00/4–750: Telegram

The Ambassador in Indonesia (Cochran) to the Secretary of State

secret   priority

484. Embtel 483.1 Hatta approved” today plans I had made with Djuanda for Griffin mission. I regretted politico-military situation Indonesian tense just at time Griffin mission coming and I trying get [Page 1006]cotton credit.2 He was glad Jogja Sultan revealed to Warder, Duff3 and me actual problems faced East Indonesia and KNIL. I said anxious go ahead and help every way possible long as I have confidence moderate group of himself, Sukarno, Jogja Sultan and Djuanda working together for original ideals and aims. I stressed desirability having Djuanda to work with on correlated economic planning to eliminate waste duplication and graft. Hatta disappointed Communist China had recognized RUSI so soon but said this would not change RUSI intent delay exchange ministers. Confirmed Palar might leave next week for Moscow but reaffirmed delaying tactics. I warned him against, giving Palar mission too much authority. I envisaged complete chaos that might exist if on top present troubles one or more Communist embassies might be established Indonesia. I feared possible wiping out of Cabinet.

Sultan Hamid transferred to Jogja as prisoner. Hatta said Hamid’s two Netherlands’ aides had confessed. Said Hamid had begun plot before transfer sovereignty when Anak Agung beginning gain ascendancy over him as BFO leader. Said Hamid had taken over underground setup of late General Spoor including Westerling and KNIL officers. Had plotted assassination several cabinet members for late January and had been angry when Westerling had without his approval sprung Bandung incident prior his fixed date for killings in Djakarta thus putting RUSI on guard and making his own plan unfeasible.4

Hatta said plans for sending TNI troops East Indonesia had been decided upon several weeks ago since desired have National Army there against any possible moves from north (Chinese Communists, etc.). Said KNIL officers East Indonesia had been playing politics and influenced East Indonesian Government against RUSI. Said Netherlands Commander-in-Chief Buurman van Vreeden had returned this morning from Macassar after going there to investigate uprising and after ordering all KNIL troops remain barracks. Hatta said by this noon troops out of barracks again. Said no end of intrigue between KNIL officers reaching top. Said would show me soon as photostated documents proving plot by KNIL General Moget for general KNIL uprising Indonesia with some hoped-for aid from certain TNI against RUSI Government in May or June. Said Moget is general in charge intelligence or information on Commander-in-Chief’s staff and living here with Chief of Staff General van Langen.

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Hatta said two ships outside Macassar might be diverted Borneo port since short of food and supplies. Evidently does not wish risk fighting incident with conference scheduled eighth Djakarta with Prime Minister and other officials from East Indonesia together with RUSI and Republic officials.

I asked Hatta if he had spoken Hirschfeld re latest revelations of plots by Netherlands KNIL officers. He had not but would do so at once. Hatta still has faith in Hirschfeld and does not want US intervene with representations to Netherlands’ Government but is beginning suspect someone on Hirschfeld’s staff has knowledge of what is being plotted.

Initial press reaction to Hamid’s arrest is that all acts against Government should be punished severely irrespective race, color or creed of evildoers. Anti-Netherlands feeling bound to grow if more revelations of Netherlands officer duplicity. Consider RUSI Government keeping calmer than even its best friends could counsel it.

  1. Not printed; in it Cochran reported that police equipment, naval and smuggling control craft, farm tools, roadbuilding materials, and medicines would be given priority in the material aid requirements for Indonesia. (756D.00/4–750)
  2. Documentation on the negotiations for a cotton credit for Indonesia is in file 856D.10.
  3. Warder and Duff were members of the Griffin technical assistance mission.
  4. In telegram 478, April 6, from Djakarta, not printed, Cochran had reported press stories on the arrest of Sultan Hamid, which stated that he had been in constant contact with Westerling and had been the leader of an action to overthrow the state (756D.00/4–650).