113. Telegram From the Embassy in the Republic of China to the Department of State 0

992. Eyes only Secretary and Robertson. Admiral Doyle1 came to see me to say when he landed at airfield late this afternoon on return from seeing Admiral Stump he was requested to see Defense Minister Yu Ta Wei at once. He accordingly called at Yu’s residence where he was given to understand President is about to despatch forces to Indonesia to assist insurgents. Doyle states he argued against such action and asked for two days grace. Doyle then sent urgent message to Admirals Stump and Burke urging a US commitment to Chiang that Indonesia will not be permitted to fall in hands of Communists.2 Tonight, after dinner [Page 203] given by President for Secretary Douglas,3 which number of Americans including myself attended, Doyle was asked to remain for talk with President. According to Doyle, President informed him he is on point of sending forces to assistance of Indonesian insurgents. Doyle said he urged President not to send forces, asking that US be given chance to work out settlement through Djakarta friendly elements. President replied there was no possibility of satisfactory settlement in this way. Doyle accordingly repeated request he had made to Yu for two days’ grace and President gave it.

I had informed Doyle prior to his departure to see Stump of President’s approach to me and of your reply,4 so that he could discuss problem with Stump. I informed Doyle tonight of President’s assurance not to take action pending further word from US Government of results of its actions in Indonesian situation and told Doyle I relied on President to live up to his word. I then suggested to Doyle that he send a followup message of his conversation with President.

At President’s dinner tonight there was no suggestion in President’s talk with Douglas that he planned to take military action although he stressed importance of not permitting Indonesia to fall to Communists and he asked Douglas to convey his views to President Eisenhower. Neither was there any reference of military action to me on part of Defense Minister Yu, Foreign Minister Yeh or Chief of General Staff Wang. President appeared relaxed and in good humor. Therefore Doyle’s report came as a surprise to me, although I knew Chinese to be anxious and preoccupied with Indonesian development.

After Doyle left my residence I got in touch with Foreign Minister Yeh. He said he was uninformed of any intent on part of President to resort to immediate military action, adding he believed President would live up to assurance not to move pending word from US. Besides President could not move without consulting United States pursuant to mutual defense agreement.5 Yeh said he was uninformed of President’s and Yu’s talks with Doyle. But he did know from talks he had yesterday with Yu and Deputy Chief of Staff Pak Yu that President yesterday morning had instructed Defense Minister Yu to make plans for deployment of GRC forces to Indonesia and that Defense Minister Yu had in turn asked Deputy Chief of Staff Yu to draw up such plans. Latter had come to Foreign Minister last night asking for information as basis for drawing up plans. Yeh said he was unable to provide much helpful information and [Page 204] he expressed view preparation of plans would be prolonged and difficult job. He also said he thought implementation of plans might be beyond China’s capacity and had so intimated to planner Yu. Yeh and I agreed to meet tomorrow morning to discuss situation further. I propose to urge him to see President and remind latter of his pledge and of provisions of defense treaty. If Yeh thinks it desirable I shall probably see President again.

Meanwhile, if Department has any favorable information on Indonesian developments or even expectations of such developments I would urge that they be passed on to President without delay. While I find it hard to believe that he will actually despatch forces as he threatens to do, he is plainly deeply troubled, is apprehensive that US will not move effectively to stop Communist takeover of Indonesia and may just possibly take desperate action. Doyle and I agree that his subordinates would deprecate such actions, but none dare stand up and oppose him.6

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/5–2558. Top Secret; Niact.
  2. Vice Admiral Austin K. Doyle, USN, Commander, Taiwan Defense Command/MAAG.
  3. Not found.
  4. James H. Douglas, Secretary of the Air Force, was in Taipei for a brief visit.
  5. Reference is to telegram 749 to Taipei; see footnote 3, Document 108.
  6. Reference is to the mutual defense treaty between the United States and the Republic of China signed in Washington on December 2, 1954; for text, see 6 UST 433.
  7. Drumright met with Yeh again on May 27. The Foreign Minister explained to him that both he and Yu believed that armed intervention on behalf of the Indonesian rebels would be a most hazardous undertaking and they were in the process of making this known “gently” to Chiang. (Telegram 1002 from Taipei, May 27; Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/5–2758) See Supplement.