283. Memorandum of Conversation0


  • Call on the Secretary by General Nasution


  • Gen. Abdul Haris Nasution, Minister of Defense and Chief of Staff, Indonesia
  • Gen. Gatot Subroto, Vice Chief of Staff Indonesian Army
  • Col. Andi Jusuf
  • Lt. Col. Kusmardjo Subroto
  • Col. R.M.S. Soerjosoerarso, Military Attaché, Indonesian Embassy
  • The Secretary
  • J. Graham Parsons, Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern Affairs
  • Major George Benson, Escort Officer, DOD
[Page 550]

General Nasution said he was having a busy, useful visit to the United States. Several years ago our relations had not been quite as understanding but now they were much better and particularly with the military including CINCPAC. He referred to his talk with Mr. Parsons yesterday and said that he thought our understanding of each other’s situation was good. He appreciated what had been said to him in that talk which had continued so long that he was almost late for the reception at the Indonesian Embassy.

The Secretary asked about the Indonesian contingent proceeding to the Congo (this subject is covered by telegram sent to Djakarta and Leopoldville).1

The Secretary asked about this year’s harvest in Indonesia and was told that the figures indicated a somewhat better crop. Nasution hoped that the goal of self-sufficiency could be reached in a few years but in this field too Indonesia was hampered by a lack of transport. Surplus areas had a hard time, not being adequately served so that their produce could be transported. He mentioned at some length the lack of communications and transport which also hampered the Army in its efforts to carry out security missions which were sometimes delayed as much as four months or more. In this context he said that the rebels operating against the Government had been reduced from over 100,000 to about 20,000 and he hoped that the situation can be cleaned up, at the end of which it would be necessary to terminate the war emergency powers. General Nasution expressed appreciation for our military aid program and for the responsiveness of CINCPAC to certain of his needs.

At the opening of the conversation and again at the close the Secretary expressed his pleasure that General Nasution and his colleagues had been able to come here and his own pleasure at being able to meet the General. He paid him a warm compliment on his successful conduct of his difficult position as top military commander in Indonesia.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199. Secret. Drafted by Parsons on October 1 and approved in S on October 5.
  2. Reference is to telegram 525 to Djakarta (also sent to Léopoldville), September 30. (Ibid., Central Files, 033, 9811/9–3060) See Supplement.
  3. During his visit to Washington, Nasution also met at the Pentagon with Assistant Secretary of Defense Irwin. An informal memorandum of that conversation, drafted by Colonel W.S. McCrea of ISA, was sent to the Embassy in Indonesia under cover of a December 29 letter from Emmons to Henderson. (Department of State, SPA Files: Lot 63 D 436, 350.3–N) See Supplement.