162. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Indonesia0

878. CINCPAC for POLAD. FYI only. Following summary main points Subandrio meeting with Secretary Nov 5 based on uncleared memo of conversation.1

Subandrio cited US desire find way check communism and Indo adopted policy of Pantjasila and stated wished explore margin for agreement between two countries based on these policies and eliminate past mutual suspicions. Subandrio assured Secretary Indo does not want communism. In past GOI unable openly oppose communist bloc or adopt anti-communist policy because such policy would have led to anarchy. Now however possible for GOI take stronger stand. Subandrio remarked Sukarno no longer popular with communists who regard President as principal competitor for loyalty of masses. Sukarno as well as military having greater voice in daily operations of government. FonMin stated Indo must find solution to many of its problems while Sukarno still alive and serving as unifying force. Government must also find ways for administering country without retreating from elections. Secretary emphasized US dedicated to principles, not alliances or friendships, and cited US position on Suez. Re newly independent former colonies such as Indonesia Secretary said our concern not merely that independence be obtained but that once obtained it be preserved. One of policies of international communism is to promote concept of independence to point of breaking relations of colonial people with West, then after independence move in and consolidate strength. Danger in Far East, Secretary noted, is growing mood of expansion in Communist China and desire dominate area.

Secretary stated until recently we felt GOI not aware communist dangers and therefore might lose independence and remarked that some of revolutionary elements more aware these dangers than central [Page 302] government. Secretary said we did nothing to help them but we did nothing to stop others from rendering assistance. We now believe, Secretary said, GOI more aware of dangers and this tends create better relationship between us. As long as Indo alert to dangers and is taking steps counter them, Indo will have nothing but sympathy and support from US and no basis to fear us. Indo will never be under pressure join SEATO but we do wish see Indo remain independent. If it seems Indo slipping into communist hands then we would see what steps necessary help Indonesia preserve independence. Secretary summarized US views as 1) we have no ambition run Indo, force Indo adopt our policies or align itself with us; 2) our one concern is that action be taken by GOI to maintain independence; 3) as long as Indo does that, there will be no basic differences between us.

Secretary acknowledged situation complicated somewhat by West New Guinea issue but stated our attitude toward Indonesia would not be altered or swayed by our friendship with the Netherlands. Secretary reiterated we abide by principles, however unpopular they might be. We assume therefore that Indo will also adhere to its principles and not resort to use force for settlement its territorial claims. Re use of force, Subandrio replied Indo realized such action not only against Dutch or even Australia but against US and he could assure Secretary Indo will never take action against US. Subandrio added that while his government would not be so foolish as to use force, GOI wanted US to be more constructive in helping find solution. Secretary replied he thought there might be opportunity do something in future but that at present feelings on both sides too emotional.

Secretary said also we do not like GOI policy of wholesale confiscation, that it is bad policy to treat property in such a way that it frightens everybody away. Secretary emphasized he raising this issue not because he was talking as agent of Dutch but rather because of its general importance re Indo relations with West. Secretary remarked that when Nasser nationalized Suez he was careful to say there would be fair compensation. In reply Subandrio recalled fruitless negotiations with Dutch on West New Guinea issue since 1950 indicating Indo-Dutch relations had played into hands of communists and implying this forced current GOI measures against Dutch. Stated proposed legislation did not provide for confiscation but for nationalization. Subandrio added GOI had no intention of cutting off economic relations completely with Dutch and declared recent developments Indo-Dutch relations a tragedy. However Indo did not wish isolate itself from West. Now that PKI agitations controllable Subandrio said if US could do something to bring the two countries together this would be helpful.

Re Communist China Subandrio remarked in Indo there was great respect for its material progress, albeit at expense human lives, but also [Page 303] great fear. FonMin added there was not one person in Indo afraid of attack on Indo by US but growing awareness of danger of ChiComs. Subandrio declared one of great problems faced by Indo is resident Chinese and defended GOI actions against them. He tended fail differentiate between KMT and ChiCom elements and cited protest of ChiCom Ambassador as well as discussions with Ambassador Jones.

FonMin stated he anxious promote good relations with Australia and noted he planned visit there at Casey’s invitation after national elections. End FYI only.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 756D.000/11–858. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Wenzel, cleared by Mein, Parsons, and Stabler of EUR/WE, and approved by Robertson. Repeated to The Hague and CINCPAC. In telegram 1493 from Djakarta, October 31, Jones outlined the points which Subandrio hoped to make with Dulles during this meeting. (Ibid., 611.56D/10–3158) See Supplement. On November 4 Robertson forwarded a briefing paper for the Secretary for this meeting with Subandrio. (Ibid., 756D.13/11–458) See Supplement.
  2. The meeting took place at 11 a.m. in Dulles’ office. Subandrio was in Washington en route to a meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Colombo Plan November 10–13. An 8-page memorandum of conversation of this meeting, drafted by Mein and approved by Robertson, November 5, is in Department of State, Central Files, 033.56D11/11–558. See Supplement.