318. Telegram From the Department of State to the Office of the Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council1

Topol 1991. Deliver Ambassador Burgess 9 am December 11. Re Polto circulars 19 and 20.2 When NAC resumes discussion you are authorized to state that US position is as follows:

US is following closely situation in Indonesia and appreciates restraint of Dutch presentation and of Dutch actions in face difficulties affecting Dutch citizens, property and interests.
US Ambassador at Djakarta made representations to Indonesian Government prior to General Assembly vote on New Guinea Item (November 29) and has made further approaches subsequent to that vote. In these approaches Ambassador expressed concern at growing tensions and actions against Dutch enterprises. He emphasized necessity for restraint.
US Ambassador Djakarta is under continuing instructions to make further representations as circumstances warrant to Indonesian Government reemphasizing necessity for restraint and strongly urging that Government refrain from arbitrary action. He is authorized to stress unfortunate effects of irresponsible actions on Indonesian international reputation.
Reports of NAC consultation this subject will be urgently considered and effects representations by respective Governments assessed.
US would not favor issuance NAC public statement of concern or joint NATO action in situation. Department believes appearance united NATO front present instance would not influence Indonesia [Page 542]in direction amelioration current measures but on contrary would tend to strengthen position of those opposing west. Department noted British representative NAC had reservations concerning desirability any form joint NATO representations and this position was also reflected by British Ambassador in Djakarta. Action which might be interpreted as extension NATO area into Far East would have seriously adverse effects also upon friendly countries in area.

With particular reference to Para 5 you may use any or all of it in your discretion in effort to appear responsive and at same time to maintain our position re Council action.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 656.56D13/12–757. Confidential; Priority. Drafted in WE and FE and approved by Under Secretary Murphy (initialed by Elbrick); cleared with FE, EUR, and the Office of European Regional Affairs (RA). Repeated to The Hague, Djakarta, and Canberra.
  2. Polto circular 20 is not printed. (Ibid.) Regarding Polto circular 19, see footnote 5, Document 315.
  3. Polto 1729 from Paris, December 11, reported that at the North Atlantic Council meeting that day, representatives of all the NATO members except Iceland reported that their governments had taken or intended to take diplomatic action. The U.S. representative made a statement along the lines of the first three paragraphs of Topol 1991, and it was generally agreed that no steps should be taken giving the appearance of “concerted NATO action”. (Department of State, Central Files, 656.56D13/12–1157)