144. Telegram From the Embassy in Indonesia to the Department of State0
586. Embtel 570.1 President’s first words in receiving me at Merdeka Palace at noon today were, “I am very grateful. I am tremendously pleased.”[Page 263]
I said I assumed he had heard the news of our decision regarding military aid from others but that I wanted to inform him officially myself. I said news had arrived when he was in Bali otherwise I would have asked to see him immediately.
He said yes, he had heard the news from others—in fact Prime Minister, General Nasution, Admiral Subyakto and Marshal Suryadarma all had come to see him and all were very gratified by US Government decision. He said he assumed package included aid for Navy and Air Force as well as Army since all three were essential for Indonesian security. I confirmed that Navy was included and then explained that Air Force had not been included because we did not know what equipment they had received from other sources and consequently could not assess their requirements. I said General Vittrup had seen Marshal Suryadarma and had discussed his current needs with him. President nodded and said he had instructed Marshal Suryadarma to make available to us information as to his priority requirements. I threw in caution saying I hoped something could be done for Air Force but I was not in position to make commitment at this point.
Bearing in mind Prime Minister’s comments last night,2 I observed President should consider that this decision of my government was directly responsive to our last conversation in which President outlined determination prevent Communist take-over (Embtel 301)3 and represented tangible evidence of US conviction that GOI was taking steps to solve its problems. I then pointed out that decision was made at highest level US Government upon recommendation Secretary Dulles. President was obviously pleased to know that both Secretary and President had been involved in decision. The President then suggested General Vittrup be invited to attend August 17 ceremonies.
In summarizing program briefly, I informed him of anticipated arrival first two aircraft on August 15 or 16 bearing signal and ordnance equipment.