142. Editorial Note

On August 10 Major General R.L. Vittrup, USA, arrived in Djakarta for discussions at the service level with Indonesians on the terms of U.S. military assistance. Vittrup headed a technical military mission and operated under the guidance of Ambassador Jones. The Departments of State and Defense provided him guidelines for his discussions with the Indonesians. (Telegram 280 to Djakarta, August 7; Department of State, Central Files, 756.5 MSP/8–758) See Supplement. Vittrup met with Prime Minister Djuanda and with General Nasution on August 11. After these meetings, Ambassador Jones reported that the “political impact” of token military aid would be much greater if air deliveries of equipment already authorized by the Department of State could reach Indonesia before August 17, its independence day. The Department of State agreed and authorized Vittrup to conclude an agreement. (Telegrams 539, 540, and 541 from Djakarta and telegram 307 to Djakarta, all August 11 ; Department of State, Central Files, 765D.5 MSP/8–1158) See Supplement for all.

On August 13 the United States and Indonesia concluded an agreement by which the United States agreed to provide Indonesia with approximately $7 million in military assistance. The agreement was effected by an exchange of notes in Djakarta between Ambassador Jones and Foreign Minister Subandrio. For text, see 9 UST 1149. In telegram 570 from Djakarta, August 13, Jones reported on the exchange of notes, explaining that the Indonesians accepted the text contained as proposed by the United States without change. “Prior to meeting Foreign Minister,” Jones noted, “I had long conference with Prime Minister Djuanda during which I clarified all points in accordance instructions and stated US regards assurances to mean also that equipment, materials and services will not be used to obtain control of West New Guinea by military forces.” (Department of State, Central Files, 756D.5–MSP/8–1358) See Supplement.

In telegram 247 to The Hague, August 13, the Department instructed Ambassador Young to inform Foreign Minister Luns at the earliest opportunity of the U.S. decision to sell a limited amount of military equipment to Indonesia. It emphasized that the Indonesians desired no publicity until a scheduled public announcement on August 20. (Department of State, Central Files, 756D.56/8–1358) See Supplement. In accordance with the Department’s instructions, Young met with Luns on August 14. In telegram 259 from The Hague, August 14, he reported on the meeting in part as follows:

“I believe Luns was pleased with assurances contained in text of agreement and with added confidential assurance that equipment, material [Page 261] and services would not be used to obtain control Netherlands New Guinea by military force. I pointed out to Luns that perhaps flat statement by Ambassador Jones to Djuanda to this effect was better than including this assurance in written agreement, inasmuch as Dutch point of view has always been Indonesians did not live up to provisions of any agreements made in past. Luns agreed that this interpretation put it in positive light, which would be helpful to him.” (Department of State, Central Files, 756D. 56/8–1458) See Supplement.