111. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Indonesia0

3409. Embtels 4340,1 4368.2 In considering what reply you should make to Subandrio concerning his desire to meet with Secretary or your suggestion that Djuanda as Minister of Defense be invited come Washington would be helpful to know whether Cabinet changes contemplated near future and whether these two men will retain present portfolios. It would seem that if any talks were to take place it would be far more profitable have them with new ministers rather than those in present cabinet.

FYI. Not only would it be most difficult arrange visit at this time for Indonesian Ministers but pending further evolution Djakarta moves to work with us and curb communists we would consider such visit premature. We will discuss feasibility Nasution visit with General Taylor and advise you later. End FYI.

Secretary’s statement, issuance of licenses,3 also of rice, appear to have lessened tension somewhat. Before we can go much further, however, we must have some indication of effective action by Indonesian Government against communist threat. If there were cabinet change and if new cabinet composition satisfactory this would be considered step in right direction. There is danger however that improvement in U.S.-Indonesian relations in last few days might serve to bring about relaxation in Djakarta thereby postponing action for reorganization of cabinet or against communists. This would only play into hands of communists. You should therefore urge that there be no let-up and that such [Page 201] action as contemplated be taken as soon as possible if we are expected to take any further action here at this time.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 756D.00/5–2358. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Mein and approved by Parsons. Repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD.
  2. In telegram 4340, May 22, Jones informed Robertson that, prior to the PL 480 signing ceremony, Subandrio had raised the possibility of visiting the United States for discussions with the Secretary of State. He also suggested that it would be useful if Djuanda could visit the United States sometime later in the year. Jones urged favorable consideration of both of those suggestions. (Ibid., 611.56D/5–2258) See Supplement.
  3. In telegram 4368, May 23, for Robertson, Jones stated that he had some second thoughts on the subject of a visit by Subandrio to the United States “because I would prefer to see Djuanda and/or Nasution be intermediary between US and Indonesia in developing situation.” Accordingly, he recommended that the Department consider authorizing him to invite Djuanda to the United States at an early date, accompanied by Subandrio, and to renew the invitation to Nasution to visit the United States, previously extended by General Taylor. (Department of State, Central Files, 756D.00/5–2358) See Supplement.
  4. On May 22 the Department of State issued export licenses for the shipment of certain materials to Indonesia.