756C.00/2–551: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Australia 1


205. Urinfo fol msg from Secy to PM Menzies has been delivered Austral Emb Wash:

“I deeply appreciate your friendly and frank msg on the subj of Neth New Guinea which Amb Makin delivered to me on Jan 18. I am very well aware that this problem has been and is a source of serious concern to you in Austral. In order to clarify our position I shld like to indicate some of the basic considerations which have underlain US pol. We have consistently supported the procedure agreed to in the Hague Round Table Conference of Dec 1949 calling for settlement of the future polit status of Neth New Guinea through negots between the Neth and Indo. This continues to be the pol of the US, notwithstanding the failure of the two govts to achieve a solution of the problem in the period specified in the Hague agreement. The identical notes which we sent to the Hague and to Djakarta on Jan 7 expressed the view that the interests of both Union partners wld be best served through continued efforts to find a solution of the New Guinea problem. We urged both govts to seek an accommodation with respect to the problem in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the UN.

“In urging the Neth and Indo to continue their efforts to reach agreement we have been mindful of the dangers to the stability of the area if the dispute over this terr shld result in embittered relations [Page 594] and perhaps a rupture of the Union partnership. Such a development, I feel sure, wld be detrimental to the best interests of the two parties directly concerned and could endanger the maintenance of that stability which is essential to the security of SE Asia. Because of our concern at the consequences of conflict between the Neth and Indo over this question, we have sought to keep negots alive. In our discussions with both parties we have avoided any sug of partiality and have consistently reiterated our position that the question is one for res through negots between the two Govts. We have not sought to influence the nature of any settlement which the Neth and Indo may arrive at through such negots.

“In view of the basic position of the US Govt on this question, our representations necessarily have been of a restricted character.

Our counsels of moderation, however, have as their objective the continuance of negotiations, even though they are not immediately successful, thus avoiding a conflict which would carry with it dangers not only for the Neth and Indo but also for Austral, the U.S. and in fact all those nations interested in the peace and security of the area.

With kind regards, Dean Acheson”

  1. Repeated for information only to The Hague as telegram 921 and to Djakarta as telegram 809.