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

589. Department pass AFCIN–1A1, ACSI, CNO. CINCPAC also for POLAD. Embtel 570.1 Supplementing reference telegram, following comments made by Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in connection with exchange of notes re military aid will be of interest. Djuanda said he had seen President that morning and had given him news. President’s reaction was one of disbelief followed by an expression of great gratification. President then raised question as to what had caused this sudden change of policy toward Indonesia on US part. Prime Minister said he had also been wondering. He wasn’t asking me but he thought the President would probably raise query when I saw him. I said I had no hesitation whatever in answering the question—that it was due to increasing confidence on part US Government that GOI was beginning seriously to face up to handling problem of communism within Indonesia and that this conviction had developed as result of actions taken by GOI to control PKI excesses, Djuanda’s own statements as to GOI intentions, clear evidence of PNI late awareness Communist danger in Indonesia and finally Sukarno’s own statements indicating his support for anti-Communist moves. Djuanda was obviously gratified by this statement. He referred to his statement in earlier talk to effect that he had not anticipated such early change in US attitude (Embtel 518).2 He had been [Page 262] confident that US would ultimately come to decision it had now reached but he had not expected it so soon.

He referred to arrogant behavior of PKI in East Java and Central Java and said that more and more Indonesian leaders were becoming alert to problem presented by PKI.

As I rose to leave in order to join the Foreign Minister at his home to exchange notes, Djuanda again said how deeply gratified he was at this turn of events. He recalled how close US and Indonesia had come to parting of ways at the time he made his statement on foreign intervention (Embtel 3974)3 and said he hoped that this was beginning of long period of improving relations. I added I too hoped it was beginning of new era.

I then went to residence of Foreign Minister accompanied by General Vittrup. Following exchange of notes, Foreign Minister commented that as this represented major political decision on part of US, he wanted me to appreciate that acceptance of military aid also represented a major political step toward America on Indonesians’ part. He recalled fall of Sukiman cabinet in 19524 and said that he would have to be prepared for considerable questioning in Parliament and barrage of criticism. He was pleased by what had happened but wanted US to appreciate significance of move from Indonesian side.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 756D.5–MSP/8–1458. Top Secret; Priority. Also sent to CINCPAC and repeated to The Hague.
  2. See Document 142.
  3. Dated August 8. (Department of State, Central Files, 756D.5–MSP/8–858) See Supplement.
  4. See footnote 1, Document 77.
  5. The Sukiman cabinet fell on February 23, 1952, largely on the issue of accepting aid from the United States under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program; for documentation, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. XII, Part 2, pp. 245 ff.