790.5/2–351: Telegram

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


1032. See Embtel 1031.1 In talk second with FonMin Roem I asked if he had noted press reports with respect organizing Pacific Pact. (Deptel 790.2) He said his government had been informed by Ambassador Ali that Department State denied any plans for such pact [Page 146] with Australia, Indonesia and other Pacific countries. I could only say I knew there was certain thinking on possibility of Pacific Pact. I wondered if Indonesia might be or become interested therein.

I said we all hoped China would yield to UN influence and cease aggression. There was possibility on other hand China might be intent on third world war, move into Indochina, Thailand and Malaya and then menace Indonesia. I asked what position Indonesia should assume. He thought Indonesia should continue its policy of peace but make itself strong. I said this would have been splendid if Communists had not played havoc with all our plans by launching aggression in Korea in which China now participating. I asked whether Indonesia would refrain from participating in Pacific Pact if one should now be undertaken, whether Indonesia would open her gates and offer no resistance to Communist aggression from North, or whether Indonesia would expect Americans and other important friends come to her aid if attacked. Roem replied that it would not be consistent with Indonesia’s peace policy to enter such pact now. He said Indonesians have no fear of US invading Indonesia. He said if any invasion it would come from Communists and in such event Indonesians would expect Americans defend them. I remarked that if such is Indonesian expectation it would be better do some advance preparation rather than await danger. Roem referred to Indonesian military purchasing mission to US as means toward strengthening Indonesia and hoped US would expedite letting it procure arms against payment and outside MDAP. I reminded Roem I had helped him take up this request when we were both in Washington in spite Indonesian failure deal with me by mission. I mentioned, however, that notwithstanding my helpfulness to Indonesians I am receiving little reciprocity and I cited instances. I observed that friendships even between nations must be two-sided if they are to work.

[Here follows a discussion of certain economic matters.]

I believe Roem has accurately indicated attitude Indonesia would assume toward any approach on participation in Pacific arrangement. I recommend any further sounding out at present be made through Indonesian Ambassador Washington. Believe Dulles should not come Indonesia unless Indonesian Government indicates receptivity after Department discussions with Ali.

[Here follows a discussion of certain economic questions.] Believe this propitious time to bring Indonesians face realities of world situation. US aid should not be taken for granted no matter how close our friendship has been or may continue with Indonesia. Indonesia will not only itself become a problem but will contribute to strengthening Asiatic-Arab bloc, thereby creating much bigger problem, [Page 147] if we continue too gentle policy with this country. (Indonesians reportedly may take initiative on Asiatic conference to work toward Indochina independence.) In addition to cutting down on economic aid as suggested in separate telegram I recommend Indonesians be brought face to face firmly with policies we advocate on allocation strategic materials at such conferences as London rubber meeting.

[Here follows a discussion of military aid.]

If general desirability Pacific arrangement is decided after investigations by Dulles I feel Indonesia’s attitude should by no means deter other Pacific powers from going ahead therewith. I believe door should be left open to Indonesians but that they should not be encouraged or even permitted to come in unless they are willing to abide by rules thereof and accept principles wholeheartedly. I believe Indonesians are more likely to appreciate benefits of such pact if we make them realize at once that any further favors from US must be requested and merited on record of behavior as sovereign nation sympathetic to policies free world.3

  1. Not printed.
  2. See footnote 8, p. 142.
  3. In telegram 832 to Djakarta, February 9, marked “Cochran from Lacy,” the Department stated in part: “Dept entirely approves course taken by you in conversations Roem (Embtel 1032, Feb 3) and agrees ur recommendation US shld withhold future econ assistance unless Indos specifically request it.” (790.5/2–351)