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

2580. CINCPAC pass Dillon Anderson. CINCPAC also for POLAD. Dillon Anderson and I called on President Sukarno at 1100 February 17.1 President was in excellent spirits and expansive mood, showed no sign of illness and asked Anderson to convey personal message to President Eisenhower.

He sent first his warm personal regards and all good wishes; as always, he spoke of President Eisenhower with genuine affection and admiration. He then asked Anderson to inform President Eisenhower that Sukarno was most grateful for recent news of military assistance, particularly small arms and equipment for 20 battalions and that although this represented only a third of Indonesian requirements he was most appreciative.

He also asked Anderson to emphasize that much as economic and military aid from US meant to Indonesia, political support meant even more. In this comment he was obviously alluding to West New Guinea issue, although no specific mention of it was made in this context. Earlier in conversation, however, Sukarno, referring to American leaders who were his idols, mentioned Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Sam Houston.

In skillful parallel West New Guinea, neatly tailored for Texan Anderson, Sukarno smilingly noted that Houston had won independence of Texas from Mexico “by bullets.” West New Guinea independence from Dutch would be won by peaceful means, Sukarno said, with, he hoped, the help of the US. Neither Anderson nor I made any comment at this point, none being called for in view Sukarno’s familiarity US policy this subject.

Remainder of conversation was devoted to banter in President’s usual manner.

President was out of city Sunday and Monday but interrupted his already overcrowded schedule to see Dillon Anderson Tuesday morning [Page 351] at my request when he found Anderson had to leave Djakarta that afternoon. This was unusual procedure for Sukarno who seldom arranges appointments on short notice and [can?] only be taken as illustrative his change of attitude.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 756D.00/2–1958. Secret. Also sent to CINCPAC.
  2. Between February 15 and 17 the Anderson subcommittee of the Draper Committee visited Indonesia. On November 24, 1958, President Eisenhower had appointed a special committee under the chairmanship of William H. Draper, former Under Secretary of the Army, to undertake a “completely independent, objective, and non-partisan analysis” of the military assistance aspects of the U.S. Mutual Security Program. (Letter from Eisenhower to Draper, November 24, 1958; Department of State Bulletin, December 15, 1958, p. 954) The Anderson subcommittee of the Draper Committee was headed by Dillon Anderson and General J. Lawton Collins.