125. Telegram From the Embassy in Indonesia to the Department of State0

4904. Embtel 4883.1 At dinner Embassy residence last night Ambassador Moekarto informed Director USOM Baird and me in effect that ball was now in US court and future US-Indonesian relations would depend on how we played it. He admitted Cabinet change did not go as far as he would have liked—he had argued for complete elimination Hanafi—but it was step in right direction and considering political, economic and military situation, he believed, as he had indicated to me earlier in day and reported reftel, this was best that could be done. He repeated that situation was much more complex than had been apparent to him from Washington. He was amazed at variety, scope and intensity of Communist activity and at campaign they are conducting to discredit him. He was also dismayed at attitude of Prime Minister and Foreign Minister—they have stated to him frankly that the policy towards US has failed despite fact that they have followed his advice step by step.

Asked if GOI had actually followed his advice, he replied, “Yes, in every detail.” Source close to President had also told him that President shared these views as to failure of policy and also of Moekarto effectively to represent his country in US. He has attempted to explain realities of political attitudes of US towards Indonesia and necessity of Indonesia to make more definite moves against Communists. He was surprised to find that not only officials of government but PNI leaders as well are firmly convinced that they have made such moves, yet US has not recognized them and has not reciprocated. That, he says, has created an apparent stalemate which must be broken if free momentum of improvement of relationships between the two countries is to be sustained.

He was surprised to find that Djuanda, who has always been considered an American stooge by Indonesians, he said, is so negative towards US in his present thinking. Apparently Djuanda feels he is being [Page 228] forsaken by US and is not receiving support, understanding or appreciation of significance of anti-Communist moves that have taken place.

Moekarto said that Indonesian military within coming year are going to equip themselves with modern arms and they want them from US. However, they will not wait any longer and will turn to Russia if US fails to act. Moekarto expressed great distress at this possibility and indicated his awareness of Soviet penetration and increasing influence Indonesia under these circumstances.

Moekarto said he had failed to understand US position as he felt that not only American press but Congress was much more understanding and sympathetic towards Indonesia than State Department. He felt informed public opinion in US would support bolder moves in extending assistance to Indonesia in her current struggle against economic disruption and Communist infiltration.

He brought up subject of construction military barracks from counterpart funds and said he had discussed this at some length with Assistant Secretary Robertson. He felt this gesture would be much appreciated by military and had impression that action of this kind would strengthen his position against criticism now being directed against him. He is preparing list of Export-Import Bank applications currently stalled for submission to Ambassador.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.56D/6–2658. Secret; Priority. Also sent to CINCPAC for POLAD.
  2. In telegram 4883, June 25, Jones reported on a conversation he had that morning with Moekarto, during which Moekarto informed him that the reason for the Indonesian Government’s postponement of the announcement of changes in the cabinet was the Sultan of Djogjakarta’s decision that he would not join the cabinet under present conditions. (Ibid., 756D.13/6–2558) See Supplement.
  3. In a subsequent conversation with Baird on June 27, Moekarto clarified his remarks concerning Djuanda, indicating that he had not meant to imply that the Prime Minister was becoming anti-American. (Telegram 4940 from Djakarta, June 28; Department of State, Central Files, 611.56D/6–2858) See Supplement.