22. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Dulles and Director of Central Intelligence Dulles0


They talked about Indonesia. D said he talked with Herter and they will meet at 10 tomorrow.1 D does not think they will curl up right away [Page 45] but they don’t have force to go on indefinitely. If we let them take over it may be you have lost it to Communism. AWD thinks we should be a little readier—the closest thing is 3 days away. We may have the problem of protecting American citizens, [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] AWD has talked with Burke. The Sec is in favor of doing something but it is difficult to figure out what or why. A said you can tie the Communists into it a good deal but it is not an actual takeover. They are pushing it more vigorously. The Sec said we have no treaty engagements or Congressional authority to justify action in this area. If you get involved in a civil war he is not sure what kind of a case you have. He is in favor of helping the people. [2 line of source text not declassified] AWD mentioned belligerent rights. The Sec said he had brought it up at staff meeting—declaring them de facto belligerent govt. Will it help the insurgents? AWD said the others could blockade the ports. AWD said they are entitled to buy arms. The Sec thinks so—we would be entitled to sell to them but also Djakarta could blockade. AWD said it would help if we can get them in—[less than 1 line of source text not declassified]. AWD said there is not too much time to consider all we have to consider. This is the best crowd we could get together. The Sec said he has left it to Herter. AWD said he has called him. The Sec said he can call on his own—he has received the tickers etc. AWD referred to the meeting at 10 and can tell Burke to be readier than 3 days. The Sec said he does not visualize what we will do. AWD mentioned sending something to get citizens out. This is more urgent than what we did before. The presence of something might be of moral value and a deterrent to the others because they would not know what we are going to do.

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Telephone Conversations. No classification marking. Drafted by Phyllis D. Bernau, Dulles’ secretary.
  2. No record of this meeting has been found.