29. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Indonesia0

2482. Deptel 2461.1 Embtel 2886.2 Concur your view aide-mémoire might be useful although doubt that Suwito or Subandrio could later claim no protest made in view BerlinDjuanda conversation3 and additional conversation between Anderson4 and FonOff officials reported by STANVAC New York.

On balance believe you should orally confirm, if you have not already done so, to Suwito that he should now consider your statements (your 2847 and 2852)5 to have been made under instruction. At same time you should leave with Suwito aide-mémoire of your conversations re Stanvac Padang oil installation, making following points: (1) Destruction appears unnecessary and unwarranted in light supply situation reported by STANVAC and therefore U.S. feels constrained lodge formal protest (2) Destruction of installations would receive considerable publicity in U.S., would likely evoke critical U.S. public reaction, and would certainly not help promote good Indo-U.S. relations; and (3) If GOI persisted in pursuing plan attack installations, U.S. would hold GOI responsible for damage U.S. property and injury U.S. nationals and would look to GOI for full compensation.

Believe it preferable this be done by Cottrell so as give impression this is follow-up his discussion and indication Department approval his actions rather than new approach by Ambassador.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 756D.00/3–658. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Underhill and Wenzel, cleared with Legal Advisor Becker, and approved by Robertson.
  2. In telegram 2461, March 5, the Department informed Cottrell that it concurred entirely in the representations he made to the Indonesian Government with regard to the proposed bombing of U.S. oil facilities. (Ibid., 756D.00/3–558)
  3. In telegram 2886, March 6, Cottrell informed the Department as follows: “Only other step it occurs to me we might take at this time to exert pressure against intention GOI bomb oil installations at Padang is for me to leave with Foreign Minister an aide-mémoire of my representations to Secretary General Suwito on this subject described Embtel 2852.” (Ibid., 756D.00/3–658)
  4. On March 4, Berlin lodged with Djuanda a strong protest against the proposed bombing of STANVAC installations at Padang. Cottrell reported on his conversation to the Department in telegram, 2866 from Djakarta, March 5. (Ibid., 856F.2553/3–558)
  5. Robert Anderson, STANVAC representative in Indonesia.
  6. See Document 28.