133. Telegram From the Embassy in Indonesia to the Department of State 0

130. CINCPAC for POLAD. Department pass CNO, ACSI, AFCIN. Admiral Riley1 reported following his conversation today with General Nasution that General had told him he was working out detailed plan under Djuanda’s instructions for control of Communism within Indonesia. Essence of this plan was that reliable anti-Communist officers would be appointed as links in nationwide system of supervision in various military territories. This would apply down through village level as well as to specific functional areas such as trade unions, business, shipping, veterans organizations and the like. These officers would report through special channels to regional commanders, to General Nasution, to Djuanda. Plan had not yet been submitted to Djuanda for approval.

Nasution also said plan called for this control to be exercised directly by Djuanda acting as Minister of Defense without involving cabinet which would not be informed of program.

General also referred to foreign intervention as one of most difficult obstacles he had to face in posing armed forces in anti-Communist direction. Admiral Riley responded that US had exerted all possible influence to quell outside assistance to rebels.

Re damage to Sumatran estates, Nasution said he was doing everything possible assure protection but this would be difficult because of shortage of troops.

Admiral Riley said he was much impressed with General Nasution and believed he was officer on whom we could count.

Comment: What General Nasution appears to have envisaged is an organization to control Communist activity but invisible to general public. He has been under considerable criticism for his regulations controlling political activity in outer areas and is sensitive to this.

He does not want army to appear to be undermining democratic institutions in Indonesia but does wish to create military organization to combat Communism.

Details of this plan are not yet available, although we have heard it referred to frequently in past. Since plan has not yet been submitted to [Page 241] Djuanda, presumption is that it is still in tentative form. Embassy will report further information as soon as available.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 756D.00/7–958. Secret; Priority. Also sent to CINCPAC and repeated to Canberra, Manila, and Taipei.
  2. Vice Admiral Herbert Riley, CINCPAC Chief of Staff, was in Indonesia on a brief visit.
  3. During his visit to Indonesia, Admiral Riley also met with Foreign Minister Subandrio. In telegram 120 from Djakarta, July 9, the Embassy reported that Subandrio emphasized that such visits were of great importance in bringing about understanding between the armed forces of the United States and Indonesia, and he was only sorry that the visit had to be so short. (Department of State, Central Files, 756D.00/7–958) See Supplement.

    Riley reported on his trip to Indonesia in telegram 100600Z from ALUSNA Melbourne to CINCPAC, July 10. He noted in part that there was complete agreement among all the U.S. military attachés in Indonesia “about attainment of US objectives in Indonesia hinging on strengthening army so that it can control communism, prevent further destruction of economy, and influence political changes we are seeking. Priority of US objectives should provide for assistance to Army as first objective to facilitate attainment other objectives.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, JCS Records, CCS 092 Asia (8–22–46)) See Supplement.