242. Telegram From the Embassy in Indonesia to the Department of State0
2479. CINCPAC also for POLAD. First Minister Djuanda told me today “Indonesia remains where it was before” as result of Khrushchev visit, and specifically denied rumors that inclusion of Commies in Cabinet was in offing. He indicated no more Cabinet changes of any kind were likely before President Sukarno departure about April 1 for trip abroad.1[Page 469]
Echoing the remarks of every prominent Indonesian I have talked with since Khrushchev visit, Djuanda said it pity Eisenhower unable to come here provide political balance. Most likely his reception would be much warmer than Khrushchev’s. Mistake was not Indonesia’s, he added significantly.
Djuanda added that he was absolutely certain that Sukarno has changed his own position not at all as result of visit but acknowledged the President “has a way of expressing himself, particularly in acting as host” which was likely to create a wrong impression among outsiders.
Subject of Khrushchev visit was raised by Djuanda who asked me for my appraisal of it. I told him I felt it was so far a propaganda victory for Khrushchev but that I recognized GOI had taken precautions to prevent PKI from undue exploitation or enhancement their own position. What impact would really be, I said, would depend on future implementation of Soviet credit, particularly whether this led to closer involvement as result of increased trade relations, presence of technicians greater dependence generally. I added that visit also seemed indicate USSR reasserting its dominant position here as opposed to ChiComs, in effect Khrushchev telling latter they had bungled and should now stand aside.
Djuanda expressed agreement with last comment, saying that visit “must have been unpleasant” for Chinese.
On other points I made he said he doubted PKI could gain much from visit, although party undoubtedly would continue to point to increased Indo-Soviet economic cooperation as evidence of greatness of communism.
As for closer involvement with Soviet Union, Djuanda conceded that danger of having foreign technicians was always present. To speak plainly, he said, there was also problem in having American technicians in Indo. Their ideas of free enterprise undoubtedly made impression on youthful minds. From point of view of those attempting to establish their own identity, these all were outside pressures which affected the situation.
After pointing out obvious differences respective objectives USSR, I asked Djuanda whether it was true that Sukarno did not hit it off well with Khrushchev. He smiled and replied, “more or less.” In some ways, he added, he had found himself closer to Khrushchev than Sukarno had since the Soviet Premier was more of a “businessman” who had worked his way up from the bottom and was of a practical bent.
“Did Khrushchev then contribute some ideas that might make a lasting impression,” I inquired.[Page 470]
“I hope so,” Djuanda replied. “He wanted us to concentrate very hard on a few essential things and let less important matters go until later. This is what I also want.”