126. Editorial Note

On June 26 at the 370th meeting of the National Security Council, Allen Dulles discussed Indonesian developments during his intelligence briefing. The following exchange took place:

“In Indonesia, the fight for Menado still goes on. In that area the rebels were putting up a very good show, though they are likely soon to lose the town. We are in close touch with their activity, and after the fall [Page 229] of Menado guerrilla fighting is likely to continue in the Celebes as it is still continuing; in Sumatra. The rebels have warned that unless we provide them with assistance they will undertake reprisals against U.S. oil installations on Sumatra, as they have already been attacking British and Dutch installations. They argue that to deprive the Central Government of oil revenues may be the only way to bring the Djakarta Government to its knees.

The President commented that it was queer that the Indonesian rebels put up such a poor showing [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] . Now that the organized fighting is over, they begin to show greater forcefulness. Was it their object to induce the United States to intervene? Mr. Allen Dulles thought that [1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] the recent shift in the composition of the Djakarta Cabinet was so minor in character as not to constitute a significant change. The Sultan of Djogjakarta had been asked to join the new Cabinet, but declined to do so. Secretary Dulles asked Mr. Allen Dulles whether he was certain that the Sultan had been requested to join the Cabinet. Mr. Allen Dulles said he was quite sure that this had been the case. Meanwhile, we have alerted the American oil companies against the threat of guerrilla attacks by the rebels against their installations.” (Memorandum of discussion by Gleason, June 27; Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)

On June 23 President Eisenhower wrote a 9-page personal letter to Paul Hoffman, former head of the Economic Cooperation Administration, in which he discussed “the things that seem constantly on my mind.” The letter included the following comments on Indonesia:

“There is very little to be said about Indonesia that you do not already know, except to observe that it remains a worry to the Administration. With Sukarno’s ambitions and his leftish leanings, with his readiness to take Communist support, and his seeming preference for the radicals rather than the more conservative sectors of Moslem people, the situation could well become serious in that area of the world. At the moment we can do little more than remain alert.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Eisenhower Diaries)