756D.13/4–752: Telegram

No. 197
The Ambassador in Indonesia (Cochran) to the Department of State


1480. No distribution outside Dept. Pringgo Digdo, Chief Pres Sukarno’s civil staff, dropped by my home 5th. Said Pres not happy over new Cabinet and especially annoyed at polit necessity accepting Mukarto as Fin [Fon] Min.1 Pringgo said both Sukarno and Hatta would want to see new govt honor MSA assurances given by Subardjo under Sukiman regime. He feared however trend of new govt wld be non-Western. I took position MSA arrangement in effect and no move required on part US. I told Pringgo I had given Hatta full set copies correspondence with Subardjo two days earlier and had explained negots some detail. At Pringgo’s request I handed him single set for Sukarno and recounted exchange. I repeated I was making no approach to Wilopo govt itself but wld have additional copies correspondence available if govt shld request any assistance in familiarizing politicians or public with subject MSA.

Embtel 1447 listed Cabinet and Polit Section. Weeka 1467 analyzed composition new Cabinet.2 Embtel 1465 quoted new Cabinet program.3 Beyond this very gen statement nothing has yet been announced indicative course to be pursued. PNI, left-wing Masjumi and PSI were critical of foreign policy as conducted through Subardjo in Sukiman Govt. They must now decide whether as responsible members of govt they will let certain measures stand, attributing alleged faults thereof to their predecessors, or sacrifice obvious benefits from these measures in gesture youthful polit independence.

There is strong probability Masjumi will split, with govt majority consequently reduced to narrow margin. Disillusioned elements within PNI may revolt against what they consider Wilopo’s stupidity in having been outmaneuvered by pro-Socialist Masjumi and Sjahrir. There is very good chance business govt succeeding Wilopo [Page 280] if latter fails through pursuing too radical course. There is in this connection evidence new govt may threaten closer polit and trade relations with Commie bloc in effort force US to terms on rubber purchases et cetera.

We cannot, of course, let such govt, whose stay in office may be short and stormy, challenge our position and intimidate US.

Am convinced as ever that our policy and record MSA negots absolutely correct. To deviate from that course now wld not only cause irreparable damage to US standing in Asia but wld constitute desertion our genuine friends among Indo leaders who have welfare country sincerely at heart and who realize policy US Govt has consistently followed has been to Indo’s own best interest.

Chiefs of dipl missions are to meet with new Cabinet members eighth and thereafter have normal contact. I am sufficiently acquainted with some of new members particularly Sultan Jogja, Sumitro and Roem to feel that they may be led eventually appreciate US position and cooperate with us whatever may be initial attitude new govt. If this proves true then we shld be able hold progress already achieved with this young state and move gradually ahead in direction we desire. In any event believe US must in dealing with Indo exercise continued patience and understanding, more firmness, less yielding and giving, plus caution and restraint with respect ideas and elements which might interfere with sound and constructive long-term policies.

  1. Mukarto Notowidigdo was Minister of Foreign Affairs in the new Cabinet, installed on Apr. 3. The Cabinet also included: Wilopo, Prime Minister; Prawoto Mangkusasmito, Deputy Prime Minister; M. Roem, Minister of Interior; the Sultan of Jogjakarta, Minister of Defense; and Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, Minister of Finance.
  2. Neither printed.
  3. In the statement issued by the new Cabinet, the foreign policy goals listed were: (1) Maintenance of an independent foreign policy; (2) termination of the Union with the Netherlands; and (3) continuation of efforts to include Western New Guinea within Indonesian territory as soon as possible. (756D.13/4–452)