756D.00/4–1650: Telegram

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

secret   priority

523. Visited Hirschfeld fifteenth his request. He said meeting fourteenth between himself, Hatta, Jogja Sultan, Sinmtupang and Generals Buurman van Vreeden and van Langen (Embtel 5151) entirely cordial. Every one relieved Abdul Azis decision come Djakarta.2 Hirschfeld said status Azis not certain. Thought probable he would face court martial and be sentenced but Sukarno grant pardon on appeal. Said both RUSI and Netherlands representatives desired utilize Saturday and Sunday toward peaceful solution. Said RUSI examiners endeavording ascertain instructions Azis gave his troops upon leaving Macassar. Azis had sought safe-conduct and facility return to troops after reporting Djakarta. At same time Netherlands endeavoring get better discipline among KNIL troops East Indonesia particularly 125 that had participated with Azis rebels.

Hirschfeld impressed upon Indonesians complications involved in RUSI military movement against Celebes. Pointed out KPM boats used as transports are manned by Netherlands civilians who should not be brought into armed struggle. Furthermore landing craft which Netherlands has transferred to RUSI still manned by Netherlands noncombatants since RUSI’s crews not yet qualified. Hirschfeld said he had been requested by Netherlands subjects Macassar arrange their evacuation. Certain Netherlands sources had requested KL troops be sent Macassar. Hirschfeld against both measures feeling such moves would complicate situation further. He had stressed to RUSI officials importance avoiding loss civilian life Macassar. Said two troop ships which had originally gone Macassar now in Borneo ports. Said other transports in Surabaya and Semarang but no word of departures yet [Page 1010]for East Indonesia and definitely no RUSI troop landings East Indonesia.

Hirschfeld said Netherlands Government concerned over recent RUSI and Republican moves against Negaras but he himself would not use these as basis for evoking UNCI intervention. He admitted to me unitary state inevitable and thought his government should not be too much upset thereover. Said definitely felt could not appeal UNCI to stop RUSI troop movements anywhere within RUSI territory. Said UNCI might be called in properly however if situation should deteriorate to point of making transfer of KNIL impossible within period anticipated by RTC agreement.

Hirschfeld spoke highly of calm judgment Hatta has displayed and latter’s earnest desire see East Indonesia situation settled peacefully. He said RUSI military tempers had also cooled perceptibly, mentioning good spirit shown by Simatupang. Said he himself had to combat certain nervousness on part his Netherlands generals. Said settlement Sumatran and Priok strikes constituted hopeful indication but unhappy over Surabaya area. He expressed wish I keep in touch with Hatta and help preserve peace.

I told him I. had seen Hatta several times past few days and was constantly talking peaceful settlement and internal consolidation. Told him I would continue endeavor influence RUSI Government in most constructive direction. Added I had been instrumental getting Sukarno address RUSI youth meetings on need for devoting their energies to manual labor in reconstruction rather than in warfare. I thought Sukarno’s speech East Indonesia situation had been effective.3 Hirschfeld agreed it brought Azis into line. I had suggested “goodwill tour” for Sukarno soon as situation permits.

After visiting Hirschfeld, received Deptel 353 quoting van Kleffen’s latest note on Indonesian situation.4 I will continue consistently impress upon RUSI leaders necessity of retaining democratic ideals of respecting RTC and of achieving political consolidation and economic rehabilitation with minimum of frictions and international entanglements. Hope prospective return of Fockema Andreae to Indonesia may assist in eliminating Netherlands officers so largely responsible for continuing sabotage of RUSI efforts.

Aneta sixteenth reports Jogja Sultan in response written questions by Aneta blamed Netherlands military authority for not being able control troops its command. Said Macassar rebellion staged by group former KNIL Army personnel just transferred to RUSI Army together with number KNIL followers. Said Netherlands Army Command responsible for KNIL followers and deserters since it responsible [Page 1011]for KNIL during its reorganization. Said RUSI Government would take action against these KNIL members well as against members Abdul Azis troops after time limit which had been given Netherlands Army Command to call back its troops had expired.

Aneta reports Defense Minister as saying “RUSI Government considers arrival Djakarta Abdul Azis unconditional surrender and I ask House trust that Government will take vigorous measures this case”. Minister was speaking plenary session House of Parliament fifteenth. Said government had shown enough patience before it decided suppress Macassar rebellion in military manner. Said orders given to suppress rebellion were being implemented. Said Macassar rebellion could not be separated from political movement and part East Indonesia Government had played therein still under investigation. Refuted allegation documents found in quarters RUSI Army Commander Macassar contained proof RUSI troops East Indonesia had been ordered undermine Negara Government (Embtel 5175).

  1. Not printed; it reported inter alia that a meeting of Indonesian and Dutch officials would be held on April 14 to discuss the East Indonesian situation. (756D.00/4–1450)
  2. At the beginning of April two companies of ex-KNIL troops under the command of Capt. Abdul Aziz, alarmed by reports that 900 RUSI troops were about to land at Makassar, seized control of the city. Following a speech by President Sukarno on April 13 which branded him as an insurgent, Aziz agreed to go to Djakarta for talks with the RUSI Government concerning the status of East Indonesia.
  3. Ambassador Cochran reported on Sukarno’s speech in telegram 512, April 14, from Djakarta, not printed (756D.00/4–1450).
  4. Not printed, hut see footnote 4 to telegram 319, April 1, p. 998.
  5. Not printed.