228. Memorandum of Conversation0

SUBJECT

  • Indonesia

PARTICIPANTS

  • United States
    • The Secretary
    • Mr. Parsons, Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern Affairs
    • Mr. Mein, Director, Office of Southwest Pacific Affairs
  • Australia
    • Mr. R.G. Casey, Minister for External Affairs
    • Ambassador Beale
    • Mr. Loveday, Counselor

Minister Casey said that the Australian DMI, Col. Macadie, when in Indonesia recently, was approached first by Col. Sukendro and later by General Nasution and asked if he would accept the task of convincing the rebels of the necessity of giving up the struggle. Col. Macadie’s reply on a personal basis to General Nasution served to postpone a decision. Minister Casey handed the Secretary a copy of a memorandum on the [Page 443]approach as well as a copy of an assessment prepared in Canberra. He said that the conclusion of the paper was that it would not be a good thing for Australia to get mixed up in this. (Copy of memoranda attached.)1

Minister Casey said that his personal view, based to a certain extent on instinct and after consideration of the matter, was that Australia should not get involved because: (a) Australia does not want the rebels to fold up even if they are not conducting an intensive campaign at the present time; they are the only people in revolt in Indonesia and if they should fold up, there would be no other revolution there; and (b) it would mean Australia involvement in Indonesian domestic affairs which would be misunderstood and might even play into the hands of the Communists. He indicated also that he thought it was in Australia’s interest that the rebellion continue since as long as it serves to keep Indonesian attention on domestic affairs, there is less likelihood of the Indonesians turning against West New Guinea. The Secretary commented that there appeared to be a conflict of interests in the Indonesian approach, since if the rebels fold up, the reasons given by the Indonesians for the purchase of large quantities of military equipment would disappear.

Mr. Casey asked if we had any information on the current status of the rebellion. He was given a brief picture of the present situation in Sumatra and in North Celebes as well as of the reported surrender of Darul Islam elements in the Celebes.

Mr. Casey reiterated his statement at the ANZUS meeting that the UK, at his urging, recently agreed to put off a decision on an Indonesian request for the purchase of barges until after the elections.2 He said that the matter has been discussed again and that the UK has agreed to postpone a decision until after the visit of Prime Minister Menzies to Indonesia in early December. He said that he had heard rumors also of an Indonesian desire to purchase small vessels in the UK. Mr. Casey said he would be in London next week and expected to discuss these matters further with the British.

The Minister asked whether we had any new information on supplies from the Soviet Bloc to Indonesia. He was informed that although we had fairly accurate information on what the Soviet Bloc had supplied, there was no indication of any new arrangements.

Mr. Casey asked whether we had as yet delivered any C–130B’s to Indonesia. He was informed that this was a commercial transaction to be [Page 444]financed entirely by the Indonesian Government and that deliveries were not scheduled until sometime in the fall of 1960. He was told that the Indonesian Government, however, is attempting to get delivery of one of the planes in January and that this request is now under active consideration.

The Minister said that Australia continues to be concerned over developments in Indonesia and is grateful for the deterrents applied by the United States in the past and would appreciate any further action the United States can take in this respect.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 756D.00/11–459. Top Secret. Drafted by Mein. Approved by S November 10.
  2. Neither printed, but see the attachment to Document 229.
  3. Reference is to the meeting of the ANZUS Council in Washington on October 26; see vol. XVI, pp. 156 169.