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

2289. CINCPAC also for POLAD. Embtels 2226,1 2199,2 2281.3 Subandrio asked me today to get in touch with him wherever he was if during Khrushchev’s visit4 I received any news as to possibility Dutch being willing consider bilateral negotiations, clearly indicating any information this sort would strengthen his hand in dealing with Russians.

Also said that “as usual” communiqué to be issued at end of visit would certainly include reference to West Irian. I endeavored to discourage this, emphasizing desirability playing in as low key as possible if he had any real hopes of getting Dutch to conference table.

If there is any chance of US inducing Netherlands to give Indonesians some indication of willingness to meet at conference table, I feel strongly now is time for us to make the effort. I can think of no démarche that would mean more to anti-Communist forces in Indonesia at this time. Removal of highly emotional West Irian issue from field of current Soviet play would be single most important contribution that could be made to support our friends here. Dutch interests too lie in maintenance Indonesia as part of free world. Recognizing emotion is not exclusive property of Indonesians in dealing with Foreign Affairs, I would nevertheless hope right kind of appeal to Dutch might bear fruit. [Page 466]Even a clear limit [sic] that Dutch attitude or our own might some day change would be of help.5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 656.9813/2–1960. Confidential; Niact. Also sent to CINCPAC and repeated to The Hague.
  2. Reference is most likely to telegram 2266 from Djakarta, February 18, which reported that within the past 24 hours the Embassy had received an indication that Sukarno planned to obtain major political, economic, and military assistance from Khrushchev in return for political concessions favorable to the PKI. Accordingly Jones was seeking an appointment with Subandrio “to inform him grave concern because of impairment to US-Indonesian relations which likely to flow from deal of type reported.” (Ibid., 861.0098/2–1860) See Supplement.
  3. Telegram 2199 from Djakarta, February 13, inquired about the Netherlands readiness to enter into bilateral talks on outstanding issues with West New Guinea. (Department of State, Central Files, 656.9813/2-1360) See Supplement.
  4. Telegram 2281 from Djakarta, February 19, reported that General Jani, Deputy Army Chief of Staff, had recently informed the Army Attaché that Nasution planned to discuss with Sukarno before February 22 the Army’s opposition to a “big deal” with the Soviets. (Department of State, Central Files, 861.0098/2–1960) See Supplement.
  5. Soviet Premier Khrushchev visited Indonesia February 18–March 1 as part of a trip to Asia, which included stops in India, Burma, and Afghanistan.
  6. Telegram 2279 from Djakarta, February 19, reported further on Jones’ conversation with Subandrio during which Subandrio tried to reassure Jones that the United States had nothing to fear in the way of a deal between the Indonesians and the Soviets. (Department of State, Central Files, 861.0098/2–1960) See Supplement.

    Chargé Fales reported from The Hague in telegraph 1111, February 20, that he believed there were “no presently foreseeable prospects inducing Netherlands take steps, public or private, to change its well known position on West New Guinea issue.” (Department of State, Central Files, 656.9813/2–2060) See Supplement.