123 Cochran, H. Merle: Telegram

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

secret   priority

574. Made farewell call on President Sukarno 10:30 October 26. Told him I would be called upon to explain various matters upon visit to Department including (1) Indonesian policy of neutrality, (2) failure to negotiate with Melby mission in spite Indonesian need for equipment and military training, (3) Ambon question, (4) prosecution of murderers of American citizens.

[Page 1091]

With respect to (1) Sukarno used expression as he has on some previous occasions that I should know Indonesian Government’s neutrality is one of form while their sentiment is on our side.

President reiterated need for military aid but hoped we could provide assistance and training behind a screen which would not provoke Communist antagonism and allegations that Indonesia’s policy of neutrality is sham.

Sukarno told me he planned visit President Quirino in Philippines during December accompanied by Roem. He said he knew this would arouse much criticism on part Mao Tse Tung and other Communists but he desired have closer relations with Philippine Government and would do so in spite of criticism.

With respect to Ambon, President thought UNCI resolution had been mistake and that Lamping had been unhelpful in his handling of situation. Said his government must be strong enough to put down insurrectionists and achieve law and order. He thought clean-cut victory in Parliament yesterday should give government courage to carry out necessary measures for improvement situation.

President said Chinese Communists becoming quite aggressive in Indonesia. Reports reached him that important sums of gold were being brought in from China to finance widespread propaganda and related activities. President said he hoped in USIS efforts we would stress positively American institutions and way of life and not resort to such publications as one his Minister of Information had recently brought to his attention, “the Communists come to China”. He said his government is itself taking steps to prohibit entrance Chinese propaganda films and literature and prefers no international propaganda struggle take place Indonesia. President said Indonesian intelligence system weak. I agreed, mentioning need for improvement and pointed out unpunished murderers of American citizens. See Embtel 573 re Doyle-Kennedy murders.1

I expressed appreciation Sukarno’s message to UN on fifth anniversary. He said anxious to work with UN and hoped Roem might be able attend General Assembly, but did not want him to go US if disagreeable debate on Ambon in progress in SC. Further-more, stressed importance having Roem in Djakarta these days to help with many emergencies.

President stressed importance of solution NNG question in favor Indonesia and have [gave?] arguments with which Department is familiar.

[Page 1092]

President favored STEM program being carried out by small group technicians. Opposed UNO idea of CCC for forestry work, but sought their aid in transmigration projects.

Cochran
  1. Not printed; it reported that Ambassador Cochran had received further evidence of the complicity of TNI officers in the murders of Raymond Kennedy and Robert Doyle, American correspondents, on April 27 (256D.113 Kennedy, Raymond/10–2650).