240. Memorandum of Conversation0

SUBJECT

  • Defense of West New Guinea

PARTICIPANTS

  • For the Netherlands
    • Mr. Theo Bot, State Secretary for Netherlands New Guinea Affairs1
    • Mr. E. Schiff, Chargé d’Affaires
    • Mr. P. de Lavalette, First Secretary
    • Mr. J. Huydecoper, First Secretary
  • For the United States
    • WE—Mr. McBride
    • WE—Mr. Cameron
    • WE—Mr. Chadbourn
    • WE—Mr. Cromwell

Mr. Bot said that he wished to emphasize two major points. First, while Dutch-Australian technical and administrative cooperation was [Page 467]satisfactory, the Australians would cooperate no further in political and military matters until there were clear indications that the U.S. would approve. Therefore, Mr. Bot continued, the best plan of action would be for the Dutch to issue a clear statement of their purpose and intents in New Guinea, this statement to be supported unequivocally and publicly by the U.S., the U.K., and Australia. Such actions would clear the air and would put to rest any possible gnawing doubts in the minds of the Dutch now in West New Guinea.

Second, Mr. Bot said that West New Guinea had inadequate defenses, but that the Australian section was probably in even worse shape. In this connection/he mentioned that while Australian New Guinea was covered by ANZUS and SEATO guarantees, no such treaty protection was presently given to Dutch New Guinea. He believed it essential, therefore, that secret joint U.S.-Australian-Dutch military planning be undertaken and also that the U.S. issue a secret protocol guaranteeing to defend West New Guinea.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 756C.5/2–1960. Secret. Drafted by W. Kennedy Cromwell of WE.
  2. Bot arrived in the United States on February 19 for a 2-day visit on his return from an inspection tour of West New Guinea and Australian New Guinea. Briefing papers for Bot’s visit were transmitted to Parsons under cover of a memorandum from Mein, dated February 17. (Ibid., SPA Files: Lot 63 D 436, Briefing File) See Supplement. Prior to this meeting Bot met with Deputy Under Secretary Hare and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs Woodruff Wallner. The three meetings were summarized in a February 20 letter from Philip Chadbourn of WE to Ambassador Young. Chadbourn noted that the meeting with Hare was largely nonsubstantive; it “turned out to be a National Geographic travelogue about life and things in New Guinea.” (Department of State, SPA Files: Lot 63 D 106, Indonesia) A memorandum of the conversation between Wallner and Bot, February 19, is ibid., Central Files, 033.56C11/2–1960. See Supplement.