217. Editorial Note

In telegram 276 from Djakarta, August 11, Ambassador Jones reported that he had received recent feelers from Indonesian officials that suggested to him that Indonesia was on the point of requesting an expanded program of U.S. military assistance. Jones asked for an “early indication of U.S. thinking” on this possibility. He added that the signature of a military assistance agreement was a distinct possibility because of the following factors:

  • “1. Presidential Cabinet not responsible to Parliament removes one of major political obstacles to signature such agreement.
  • “2. Country is in real economic and financial trouble. Leaders, particularly Djuanda and Nasution, are deeply concerned and determined to take effective steps to deal with situation.
  • “3. There is growing realization that solution economic problems will require hard decisions as well as some further help from outside.
  • “4. There is general realization neither technical assistance nor economic development programs meet immediate need which is to prevent further inflation with resultant Communist exploitation of country’s difficulties.
  • “5. Indonesian leaders recognize future independence of Indonesia inevitably rests upon presence in Pacific. Subandrio and Nasution have been explicit on this point. Foreign Minister, at least in conversations with me, has been gradually de-emphasizing foreign policy of non-alignment and putting greater stress on new and second major element of good neighbor policy.
  • “6. Indonesians want more positive assurance of continuing US support in military and economic field for long-range planning purpose.” (Department of State, Central Files, 756D.5–MSP/8–1159) See Supplement.

The Department of State sent Jones a tentative reply on August 12, informing him that the matter was receiving serious thought in the Department, and a substantive reply would be sent as soon as possible. (Telegram 169 to Djakarta, August 12; Department of State, Central Files, 756D.56/8–1159) See Document 222.