756D.00/5–450: Telegram

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

secret   priority

598. Visited Hatta this morning. He confirmed Leimena mission due back Djakarta today, has not succeeded settling Ambon trouble.1 Said opposition headed by 1,200 KNIL including unruly red and green cap battalions. Said General van Langen had failed influence them on visit week prior Leimena. Fockema Andreae has now promised take hand in situation. Hatta has requested him remove some KNIL officers from Ambon to Holland. In meantime RUSI will establish garrisons in islands surrounding Ambon but land no troops there. Thinks such maneuver may bring Ambonese to terms shortly if Netherlands do their part.2

Hatta said Mansour due talk with him today re East Sumatra. Hatta’s idea is for Mansour Government to resign and commission of three, one from Mansour’s group, one from RUSI and one from Republic be set up to administer until new government can be created. Believes all parties will be agreeable this idea. Hopes government being established in East Indonesia under Putuhena3 will join with Mansour Government in giving Hatta full mandate to negotiate with Republic on formation unitary state. Said opposition still coming from PNI in Republic to Hatta’s idea of UNCI [ RUSI ] rather than Republic being basis of unitary state. Denied rumor that he would sacrifice Sjafruddin4 and Djuanda to get political support but admitted pressure from PNI strong. Also admitted Anak Agung might resign shortly as Interior Minister on own volition. Anak Agung considers unitary state inevitable and will not oppose it but takes position since he has been Federation leader his participation in government creating unitary state would be subject criticism and embarrassment. Has pledged his personal loyalty to Hatta and willingness to take any other task Hatta may assign him.

Hatta said Gieben acting Netherland HC, informed him yesterday of receipt instructions from Hague to submit to UNCI question alleged failure RUSI Government permit self-determination, particularly [Page 1020]East Indonesia, as envisaged by RTC agreement. Hague Government had told Gieben this subject of much debate Netherlands political circles.

Hatta told Gieben if Netherlands insisted on drawing UNCI into present differences between Netherlands and RUSI latter would insist question for investigation is principally involvement KNIL in RUSI affairs. Hatta said this phase would be emphasized by RUSI Government and in RUSI parliamentary discussions. Said Gieben agreed that differences should be settled directly between parties through friendly discussions such as have been carried out by Hatta, Hirschfeld, Fockema Andreae and others on spot. Gieben intended make such recommendation to his government and endeavor convince Hague UNCI should not be asked intervene.

Hatta told me of intercepted telegram which appears involve Netherlands KNIL commander Macassar in Molucca separatist movement.

Hatta said in addition Chinese and leftist group criticism and opposition to monetary and economic acts of RUSI Government, increased evidence Chinese teachers Indonesia spreading Communist propaganda. He said investigations now being made and any found guilty would be deported. He promised meet my request any information this subject be provided us and I told him we had mentioned to Netherlands urgency returning to RUSI files on Communists which had been removed by NEI Government when sovereignty transferred. He said part of these files had been returned only yesterday.

  1. Johannes Leimena, Minister of Health in the RUSI Government and a Republican Ambonese, had been sent by the RUSI to try to negotiate with dissident elements on Ambon which had proclaimed the island to be the independent Republic of South Moluccas.
  2. In telegram 614, May 8, from Djakarta, not printed, Cochran reported that he had talked with Leimena on May 7, and the Minister of Health revealed that he had been unable even to land on the island and had had to return for consultations. (756D.00/5–850)
  3. Head of the pro-Republican Cabinet being formed in East Indonesia.
  4. Sjafruddin Prawiranegara, Minister of Finance in the RUSI Government.