4. Editorial Note

On January 3 Deputy Under Secretary of State for Management Loy Henderson sent a cable to Ambassador John M. Allison which began:

“In response to your message to Robertson through Mein, we would like to recommend to President your appointment as Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. It would be appreciated if you would advise immediately whether or not such appointment would be agreeable to you. This matter rather urgent since Johnson is leaving Czechoslovakia in near future.

“Prague as you know is one of our key posts in Eastern Europe. It would be helpful to have in Czechoslovakia an ambassador with your experience and knowledge of communist objectives and tactics.”

Henderson suggested tentatively that Allison begin to make arrangements that would make it possible for him to depart from Indonesia about February 1. (Telegram 1644 to Djakarta, January 3; Department of State, Central Files, 123 Allison, John Moore) See Supplement.

The referenced message from Allison to Robertson through Mein has not been found in Department of State files. Allison summarizes this message, However, in his book, Ambassador From the Prairie or Allison Wonderland (Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1973), page 337. According to Allison, the message contained his recommendations for handling the present situation in Indonesia. If Washington was not prepared to go along with those recommendations, he wrote, “I did not believe I should remain in Indonesia.”

In telegram 1943 from Djakarta, January 6, for Henderson and Robertson, Allison replied:

“Appreciate your message and have carefully considered offer you make. I assume from first sentence reference telegram that policy to be carried out in Indonesia lacks those elements which I told Mein I considered essential. If this is so, as I told Mein, it would be extremely difficult if not impossible for me to carry out such a policy and the government would undoubtedly be better served if there were another Ambassador here.

“Mrs. Allison and I have seriously thought over whether I should accept Czechoslovak post if offered. While neither of us is happy about it, we agree that as a career officer I should be willing to go where the Department desires.” (Department of State, Central Files, 123 Allison, John Moore) See Supplement.