277. Telegram From the Embassy in Indonesia to the Department of State1

973. During conversation this morning with Prime Minister Djuanda I had opportunity to tell him of my personal concern at Foreign Minister Subandrio’s speech in General Assembly when, in discussing West Irian issue, he talked about possibility of Indonesia using “other means” if peaceable solution of problem through UN was not possible.2 I pointed out to Prime Minister that it would be natural for officials in Washington considering Indonesia’s requests for military equipment to wonder whether or not this equipment might be used aggressively against West Irian. I expressed opinion that any overt action of an aggressive nature would only redound to the harm of Indonesia and would inevitably lose her whatever goodwill existed already with regard to the West Irian issue. Djuanda agreed and said emphatically that there was no intention of taking any aggressive action. He said activities on West Irian issue would be confined to mass meetings and press stories advocating return of territory to Indonesia. He then said to me directly and most seriously: “You have been here long enough to know perfectly well that even if we wanted to take military action against the Dutch in West Irian we are in no position to do so.”

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 656.56D13/10–1557. Secret.
  2. Subandrio stated at a plenary meeting of the General Assembly on October 3 with regard to the problem of West Irian: “The only question is whether the United Nations is the place where its solution may be worked out, or whether we must embark upon another course, even at the risk of aggravating conditions in South-East Asia and perhaps inviting ‘cold war’ tensions to muddy further the waters of peace in that region of the world.” (U.N. doc. A/PV.700)