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

1782. Following my comments on seriatim number paragraphs Deptel 1573:2

Agree this objective desirable insofar as these parties under leadership which opposed cooperation PKI. Present trend however is further divergence PNIMasjumi for reasons probably basic and beyond our control despite Sukarno’s recent but rare though vigorous assertion his unity with Hatta (my 14373). These reasons spring from (a) Sukarno’s increased identification with PNI and his policy reducing relative strength Masjumi at cost PKI support and enhancement left-wing PNI and other leftist groups which support concerted effort secure Irian and push “Marhaenism”;4 (b) Erosion Sukarno’s moral [Page 149] character and appeal to intelligensia; (c) Masjumi preference for Hatta and lukewarmness for Pantjasila. Sukarno however still strongest leader, determined retain power and with unchallenged ability sway and hold allegiance of masses of Indon people. We should therefore not buck Sukarno. However though Masjumi leaders are prepared accept younger right-wing PNI men in future government they are adamantly opposed to cooperate with or cease attack on Siddik-managed PNI. Masjumi is confident its strength and has proposed if necessary support Hatta against Sukarno in election. Hatta has not agreed accept their proposal that he run on Masjumi ticket but significantly has not declined. (Embtel 12825) I believe we must not oppose this Masjumi policy and that we must be careful avoid connotation special help to Ali government so long as it associated with PKI.
This has been and I hope will continue be major objective United States policy and work this Embassy.
I agree in principle but I believe there will be occasions where without reflecting on or derogating from our posture basic friendliness to Indon people we can and should take clear stand opposing those political elements aiding and abetting PKI and where we can and should declare our approval actions those political elements clearly opposing PKI. I believe we should neglect no opportunity convince Indon people that those political parties and leaders who refuse collaboration with communism will receive full support United States. This will involve some risk incurring displeasure PNI leaders, including perhaps President Sukarno.
“Favorable conditions” should include as sine qua non an Indo Government opposed to and prepared take steps curtail activities PKI. I continue oppose any “economic” aid until installation such government though I continue support United States “technical” assistance as means raising general level abilities Indon people. Last paragraph mytel 11266 [omission].
I agree in principle desirability exploiting whatever opportunities may arise to encourage cooperation between Manila Pact countries Asia and Indo in all fields. But I would caution against optimism that such cooperation will be greatly productive in near future. [Page 150] I think that one of the unavoidable costs of SEATO was that it divides the sheep from the goats and makes Indon participation in regional cooperation more difficult. I would also caution against exposing United States efforts to stimulate such cooperation. United States cannot realistically expect Indo to side with free world in forseeable future but as first step should seek bring Indo to at least one stand possibly in some cases benevolent neutralism.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.56D/4–1355. Top Secret; Priority.
  2. Telegram 1573 to Djakarta, April 5, requested Cumming’s comments on the following courses of action proposed in connection with the pending NSC paper on Indonesia:

    “1) Encourage anti-Communist and non-Communist elements toward cooperation in attaining national aspirations and toward opposing Communist elements; minimize and discourage extreme divergence among PNI, Masjumi and other non-Communist political parties; 2) Seek to isolate, discredit, weaken, disorganize PKI; 3) Preserve US ability to work with all non-Communist elements in power or who may come to power; 4) Be prepared, in response to Indonesian requests, to make available additional economic aid when it is determined favorable conditions prevail in Indonesian government; and 5) Seek to have free Asian nations such as Philippines, Thailand and Pakistan exert influence on Indonesia by political, cultural and other means to broaden areas understanding US.” (Ibid., 611.56D/4–855)

  3. Telegram 1437 from Djakarta, March 1, reported that in a speech on February 25, Sukarno had denied any breach between himself and Hatta. (Ibid., 756D.00/3–155)
  4. Marhaen, a word coined by Sukarno in 1930, refers to the common people of Indonesia, both workers and peasants.
  5. Telegram 1282 from Djakarta, February 3, reported a conversation between Cumming and Masjumi leader Mohammad Roem, during which Sukarno’s ties with the PNI and Hatta’s affiliation with the Masjumi was discussed. (Department of State, Central Files, 756D.00/2–355)
  6. Telegram 1126 from Djakarta, January 13, reported that a “Communist-line” newspaper had carried an article on Cumming’s meeting the previous day with the Foreign Minister (see footnote 5, Document 84). The last paragraph stated that the meeting had not been reported elsewhere in the press and commented: “Incident further illustrates lack of security which we must bear in mind in dealing with Indonesian Government offices.” (Department of State, Central Files, 756D.00/2–355)