244. Editorial Note
On March 10 at the 436th meeting of the National Security Council, Allen Dulles discussed Khrushchev’s recent trip to Asia during his intelligence briefing:
“Mr. Dulles then reported on Khrushchev’s recent trip to Asia. He said the overall response to Khrushchev’s appearances did not live up to expectations. Khrushchev received his greatest welcome in Kabul, but it was forced and without enthusiasm. His reception was only moderate in Soerabaja. Throughout the trip Khrushchev was glum and irritable; and particularly in Indonesia he succeeded in irritating his hosts by boasting of Soviet accomplishments, by criticizing the local way of doing things and by such activities as impromptu lectures on Soviet farming methods. A personality clash was quite evident in Indonesia between Sukarno and Khrushchev. On one occasion Sukarno is reported by Subandrio to have said ‘I did not invite Khrushchev here to be insulted. You take over.’ Khrushchev was alleged to have told the Indonesians that they were not true socialists and that the Indonesian Government needed to exercise more compulsion against the people, a suggestion which Sukarno rejected. However, despite these clashes, the Indonesian leaders seemed to be somewhat impressed by Khrushchev, so that his visit must be scored as a mild success. Mr. Dulles said that in Afghanistan the signing of a cultural agreement with the USSR had been postponed six times before it was finally signed. At Khrushchev’s departure Daud appeared uneasy and Khrushchev himself spoke only of the weather, except to say to the King ‘Don’t be worried; all these difficulties will be straightened out.’ The joint Soviet-Afghan communiqué gives some support to Soviet propaganda. In this connection Mr. Dulles noted that Moscow is now claiming that Khrushchev will represent the peoples of Asia at the Summit Meeting. During Khrushchev’s visit to India a $375 million aid agreement for assistance to the Third Indian Five Year Plan and to the Indian Atomic Energy Program was signed. Indonesia also accepted assistance from the USSR in the amount of $250 million. Apparently Khrushchev was prepared to offer Indonesia $400–$500 million in addition to the $126 million extended several years ago, only $27 million of which has been used. Indonesia has decided to spread its $250 million credit over seven years and to use it in connection with the $2 billion Five Year Indonesian Economic Development Plan to be implemented from 1961 to 1965. There were reports that Indonesia would also receive a cruiser, submarines and bombers from the USSR. Afghan had accepted Soviet economic aid, including 50,000 tons of wheat. While in Afghan Khrushchev had endorsed a plebiscite for Pushtoonistan. The plebiscite idea had been picked up in the West and applied to Berlin. Concluding his discussion of Khrushchev’s trip, Mr. Dulles[Page 473]reported that throughout the trip recent aggressive acts by the Chinese Communists had apparently loomed large in Khrushchev’s thinking. At any rate, Khrushchev had returned again and again in conversation to the Chinese Communists and had stopped in Calcutta on his way home to confer with Nehru on Chou En-lai’s acceptance of the Indian invitation to discuss the Sino-Indian border problem. There was evidence, in other words, that Communist China and the USSR were at odds with each other on Asian policies. The Chinese Communist radio had been silent during Khrushchev’s trip, but had belatedly endorsed it after it was over.
“Mr. Dillon said that according to his information Indonesia did not want to conclude a new aid agreement with the Soviet Union because of its unused balance of aid previously extended. However, when Khrushchev made it clear that he would offer unlimited amounts of assistance to Indonesia, Sukarno had decided he could not refuse these offers for domestic political reasons. The Indonesians had tried to calculate the maximum Soviet aid they could use without getting too deeply involved with the Soviets and had arrived at a figure of $35 million annually. Sukarno had multiplied this figure by seven and requested $250 million in aid. According to Subandrio, Khrushchev and Sukarno spent only about three minutes concluding this aid agreement.” (Memorandum of discussion, March 14; Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)