60. Memorandum of Conversation0


  • Indonesia


  • Mr. Howard Beale, Australian Ambassador
  • Mr. M.R. Booker, Counselor of Australian Embassy
  • The Secretary
  • Mr. Farley, Special Assistant for Atomic Energy Affairs
  • Mr. Mein, Director, Office of Southwest Pacific Affairs

1. The Ambassador said he wanted to inform the Secretary that the Indonesians have been complaining to the Australian Government that the Australian Broadcasting Company has been sending out too much propaganda in favor of the dissidents in Indonesia. He said that the Australian Government does not intend to stop these broadcasts.

2. The Ambassador said he understood we were considering a possible approach to Sukarno with the suggestion that if the struggle in Indonesia were settled by compromise we would be prepared to extend economic and military aid.

The Secretary said that such an approach is one of the things we have thought about but that no decision has been taken. The difficulty at the moment is that Sukarno has things well in hand and is not in a position where he needs to negotiate. A great deal depends, However, on events during the next few days. If the dissidents can hold out then we might take another look at the situation with a view to determining what if anything we might be able to do.

3. The Ambassador said that according to Australian intelligence the dissidents are disunited and are not likely to make a successful stand. [2-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]

The Secretary said that if the dissidents survive the Central Government’s efforts to suppress them [2-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] we might have to consider giving them belligerent status but not unless they do better than they have been doing lately.

The Ambassador said that the Australian Government has some anxiety about according recognition to the dissidents and asked whether an approach to Sukarno might be accompanied by a hint that if [Page 108] he does not compromise we would recognize the dissidents. The Secretary said we do not have that possibility in mind at the present time. He agreed with the Ambassador that if the Communists got control of Indonesia it would be a very serious matter, adding that if we could see clearly how to deal with the situation we would be prepared to take some risks if there were any assurance that they might be successful.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 756D.00/4–1458. Top Secret. Drafted by Mein.