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

1228. CINCPAC also for POLAD. Embtels 1132,1 1195,2 1217.3 For Assistant Secretary Parsons from Ambassador. It would be of tremendous advantage to me in advancing US position here if I could suggest to President Sukarno that President Eisenhower planning visit Far East in spring, and if he does come, Indonesia would definitely be included in his schedule.

Embassy officers have reported conversations that indicate failure President Eisenhower schedule trip to Indonesia has been discussed [Page 451] top-level government circles and among politically articulate people. There is feeling of puzzlement, disappointment, and sense being snubbed.

As Department aware in connection visit USS St Paul,4 congressional visits, and other recent events, there has been increasingly favorable attitude toward America and willingness consider American points view. On other hand Indonesian leaders rapidly awakening danger of powerful and ruthless China. Striking disclosures and sharp charges last few days and continuing campaign eliminate rural alien retailers indicate probability continued uneasy, if not outright antagonistic, relationship Indonesia and PRC.

Under these circumstances now favorable time make dramatic gesture, and none would be more effective than indication Eisenhower ultimately to visit Indonesia.

As reference telegrams have reported, President Sukarno has already raised this question directly with me several times in last week.5 His question indicated puzzlement and disappointment. Our answers have not been convincing to him and others who set great store by such visits, and so I expect question to remain and to be directed again by Sukarno when opportunity arises.

I would appreciate early guidance this subject, since imminence President’s India visit bound stimulate further inquiry. I strongly recommend that announcement of intention to visit Indonesia be made as soon as possible.6

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.11–EI/11–1859. Confidential. Also sent to CINCPAC.
  2. Telegram 1132, November 9, informed the Department that if President Eisenhower visited India and Pakistan without corning to Indonesia, in view of Sukarno’s repeated personal invitations, there would be a bad reaction in Indonesia. Jones reminded the Department of Sukarno’s philosophy that international relations are basically a matter of personal relations. (Ibid., 711.11–EI/11–959) See Supplement.
  3. In telegram 1195, November 16, Jones pointed out that the first question Sukarno raised during a 50-minute meeting with a visiting Congressional delegation headed by Senator J. Allen Frear, Jr. (D.–Delaware), was why Eisenhower was not coming to Indonesia. (Department of State, Central Files, 711.11–EI/11–1659) See Supplement.
  4. Document 230.
  5. The cruiser U.S.S. St. Paul visited Indonesia November 2–5.
  6. In telegram 1253 from Djakarta, November 20, Jones informed the Department that Sukarno had again raised his dissatisfaction with the failure of President Eisenhower to visit Indonesia. Sukarno said “that when the White House announcement of the trip was made he had gotten out a lantern and examined every word to see if there was anything in it for Indonesia but without any success.” (Department of State, Central Files, 711.11–EI/11–2059)
  7. In telegram 800 to Djakarta, November 27, Parsons explained to Jones why it would not be possible for Eisenhower to visit Indonesia. (Ibid., 711.11–EI/11–2159) See Supplement.