168. Telegram From Secretary of State Dulles to the Department of State 0

Secto 26. Foreign Minister Luns saw Secretary for half hour before December 18 NATO meeting.1 Luns stated he had complained to Lloyd re British action in selling Fairey-Gannets to Indonesia after previous Dutch understanding British would break contract.2 Secretary repeated bases for US arms sales to Indonesia which was a typically new country in which army was main effective source of power and barrier to Communism. Secretary added that Dutch intelligence estimates with regard to likelihood attack against West New Guinea were apparently different from ours and accordingly believed we should discuss these estimates together. He also stated his recent Washington talk with Subandrio had been extremely frank.

Luns repeated Dutch information re projected March attack against West New Guinea. [4 lines of source text not declassified] He also concurred in Secretary’s suggestion for comparing intelligence estimate. [3 lines of source text not declassified]

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 756D.56/12–1858. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to The Hague and Djakarta.
  2. Dulles and Luns were in Paris for a Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council, December 16–18. On December 17 Luns raised the subject of Indonesia [text not declassified] objecting in particular to Western nations supplying arms to Indonesia. In reply Dulles stated that the modest U.S. arms supplies to Indonesia would not appreciably increase Indonesia’s ability to move against New Guinea. He added that the United States thought that it had some influence over the Indonesian Government and was attempting to direct that government away from pro-Communist channels and into more desirable directions. Dulles also noted that the United States had exerted its influence in the most categorical way against the Indonesian use of force against New Guinea. (Telegram 1158 to Djakarta, December 22; ibid., 756D.00/12–2258)
  3. On December 8 the British Embassy informed the Department of State that the British Government had decided to proceed with the sale of Fairey-Gannet aircraft to Indonesia. (Telegram 1071 to Djakarta, December 10; ibid., 756D.5622/12–1058)

    On December 16 in Paris, Dulles spoke with Selwyn Lloyd about Indonesia and reported on this conversation in Secto 24 from Paris, December 17, as follows:

    Lloyd then raised Dutch disturbance over announced British intention deliver planes to Indonesians, which he said he had justified on basis that United States had told United Kingdom they would deliver comparable aircraft if British did not. I reviewed with him encouraging developments in Indonesia situation and told him that I had warned Indonesian Foreign Minister that any use of force by his country against New Guinea would find us ‘against’ them; Lloyd said that he had told Dutch that in such event British would be ‘with’ Dutch.” (Ibid., 756D. 5622/12–1758)