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

1618. Manila pass CINCPAC for POLAD and AF, AFCIN–1A1, 13 AF. Manila for MLG. I took Mein2 this noon to call on Foreign Minister Subandrio who during course of conversation made following points regarding present situation: [Page 551]

Subandrio has suggested to Dutch Chargé Hasselman that Prime Minister Djuanda and Drees should have “summit” meeting at some neutral point such as Delhi or Colombo and, without specific agenda, cover gamut of Dutch-Indonesian relations. According to Subandrio, Hasselman has not yet reported Dutch reaction to this suggestion and Subandrio is still optimistic that something might come of it.
Subandrio revealed that since Indonesians have taken definite action against Dutch, position at The Hague of Indonesian Chargé has greatly improved. Apparently, whereas formerly Indonesian Chargé was always received curtly and conversations with him were held standing, he is now invited to come in and sit down and discuss matter in a more cordial and normal manner.
Indonesians have also received reports from The Hague that more and more nongovernmental Dutchmen are taking interest in Indonesian problem and that business leaders and others endeavored to persuade Dutch Government to adopt more flexible position. Queen Juliana is reportedly getting into the picture and has requested copies of President Sukarno’s speeches.
Subandrio stated categorically that Indonesians did not wish to force all Dutch out of the country at once, but he also made it clear that there would be no attempt to prevent any Dutch from leaving who wish to do so. This statement was of particular interest in view of fact that while waiting to see Foreign Minister, Dutch Chargé came into waiting room and with most worried expression told us that he had just been informed by immigration authorities that, while exit permits for Dutch dependents would continue to be given without going through normal screening procedure, this facility would not be given Dutch businessmen or technicians and they would have to carry on normal practice. Hasselman interpreted this as Indonesian attempt to prevent exit of technical experts and in fact to engage in “forced labor.” From Subandrio’s statement, it is clear to us that whereas Dutch are adopting position that all Dutch are being forced out by Indonesians and therefore Indonesian Government should greatly facilitate their departure, Indonesians take position that only Dutch being forced out are unemployed and those positions can readily be occupied by Indonesians. Indonesians therefore see no reason why they should exempt Dutch from normal emigration procedures and believe they have made considerable concession in permitting dependents to bypass normal procedures. During this part of conversation, Subandrio said there was good evidence that Dutch Government was putting pressure on certain technicians and experts to leave Indonesia although these persons had no particular desire to do so.
Subandrio said that he had discussed with British Ambassador this morning question of Dutch warships now in Singapore. He pointed out that of course Indonesian Government could take no exception to British granting normal bunkering facilities but if they were doing more than that in assisting Dutch warships to take hostile action against Indonesia, such as intercepting vessels or engaging in blockading activities, it might create most serious situation. Subandrio reaffirmed statement he had made to me Friday evening and reported in my 15973 regarding his concern at possible hostile activity of these Dutch warships.
In summarizing Indonesian view of possible outcome present dispute with Dutch, Subandrio reaffirmed statements previously made that there is still time for third-country intervention directed to both parties. However, he emphasized that time was running out and that longer any such intervention is delayed, more difficult will solution become. In contrast to impression given by many press reports that Subandrio envisions early break-off of diplomatic relations with Dutch, the Foreign Minister made clear that this action would only come as last resort and after Indonesia had finally decided Dutch had no intention of making compromises of any kind. If negotiations of some sort could be resumed, looking toward possible establishment of normal diplomatic relations, this is what Indonesia wants, but if this is utterly impossible Subandrio thinks it would be better to cut off all ties completely.

Comment: Although Subandrio stated he understood difficulty facing America at this time, particularly in view of NATO Chiefs of State meeting, of taking any action to ameliorate the situation, it was obvious that he still hoped something could be done. His stressing of possibility of “Summit” meeting between Drees and Djuanda seemed almost to be clutching at straws, but I believe was indicative of real desire of Indonesians to reach some sort of settlement.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 656.56D/12–1657. Confidential. Repeated to The Hague, Canberra, and Manila.
  2. Mein visited Indonesia December 14–21.
  3. Supra.