756D.5–MAP/5–1551: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in Indonesia


1249. Deptels 987, 1050, 1115 and urtel 1556, May 9.1 Present US position re procurement mil equipment by RI to meet internal security problems is as fols:

1. US legally in position furnish constabulary equipment on grant or reimbursable basis to RI under auth MDAA. No additional undertakings required from RI as matter of law, beyond those already obtained Aug 15, 1950 exchange notes.2 Above Dept reftels designed solely explore possibility obtaining additional commitments which wld be desirable but are not required by applicable legislation. US considers it particularly desirable obtain reaffirmation in best form (preferably written), of Hatta’s oral undertaking.3

2. Dept aware difficulties obtaining such commitments.

3. Dept aware US interest in assisting Indo Govt, as long as it basically friendly to US, to obtain equipment essential maintain and strengthen internal security Indo.

4. Many types equipment, such as Garand rifles, mortars, armored cars, tanks not available for purchase commercial channels, and accordingly as matter of practice are available to fon countries only under MDAA. Outside auth MDAA (which is limited to govt to govt transactions) RI may purchase constabulary equipment suited primarily to police work, such as jeeps, pistols, explosives, tear gas, on normal commercial basis. In such transactions US Govt wld intervene at point of request for export license which US wld probably grant on simple statement of need and uses to which equipment wld be put.

5. US wld assist in procurement equipment by helping RI reps find equipment or contact US mfgs having available productive facilities. If Indo need for equipment involved considered by US important enough, we might grant to Indo defense priority ratings to facilitate production and delivery.

6. Dept airmailing description procedures applicable respectively to normal commercial and to MDAA transactions, together with list of types equipment available only under MDAA.4

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7. US consideration of assistance Indo in connection RI arms and equipment program must inevitably take into account factors including (1) recent declarations by FonMin Subardjo and Zain re Indo consideration of sale rubber to Commie Chi, (2) Indo adherence in practice to historical pattern distribution Indo raw materials.

8. Pending clarification Indo intent this connection, US does not desire undertake commitment to assist Indo further this matter.

9. If you deem advisable, and if you believe such reps on your part will materially assist you in inducing Indo Govt maintain historic pattern trade, you may point out above factors.

10. This tel covers points on mil aid raised urtel niact 1597,5 to which you shld receive full reply shortly.

  1. None printed.
  2. The texts of the notes exchanged between Ambassador Cochran and Dr. Hatta which implemented the Military Arms Aid Agreement of August 15, 1950, are printed in TIAS No. 2306; 2 UST (pt. 2) 1619.
  3. When the MDAP accord was signed in August 1950, Dr. Hatta pledged that Indonesia would prevent the exportation of strategic materials to nations unfriendly to the United States. For documentation, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vi, pp. 1046 ff.
  4. Not printed.
  5. In telegram 1597 from Djakarta, May 15, Ambassador Cochran noted that Minister of Communications Djuanda had, in the course of a conversation that day, asked if the United States would still help Indonesia procure arms needed to maintain internal law and order. The Ambassador replied that he could give no guarantees on this subject, but also said that he could be prepared to discuss, on short notice, the possibility of consummating an MDAP accord as an amendment to or an extension of the accord on constabulary equipment negotiated with Dr. Hatta on August 15, 1950. The Ambassador also said that he did not believe that standard weapons and ammunition could be procured satisfactorily except under MDAP auspices, and that, in this connection, he would have to obtain instructions from Washington. Furthermore, he told Mr. Djuanda that he was convinced that no MDAP agreement could be consummated unless Indonesia was willing to give assurances that strategic materials would not reach the Communist bloc nations. If Indonesia voted against the United Nations embargo resolution to prevent war materials from reaching the People’s Republic of China, it might be difficult for Indonesia later to obtain military aid from the United States. (856D.2395/5–1551)