74. Telegram From the Embassy in Indonesia to the Department of State 0
3965. Foreign Minister summoned me this morning at 9 a.m. to request US mediation with Government of Republic of China on supply of arms to rebels and informed me that Djuanda would make strong speech today charging foreign intervention and make a plea for US assistance in preventing further deliveries to rebels.
Documents which had been captured proved that rebels in Sumatra had received 10,000 small arms in addition to bazookas, artillery and planes and their sources of information in Menado had reported 3,000 items small arms supplied recently. Possession by Menado of three bombers and two Mustangs plus cost of air raids which they had verified at $75,000 per raid, had made it evident to Indonesian Government that rebels were not equipping themselves from own sources of revenue but were receiving actual assistance in form of military equipment from foreign government sources. He was not accusing the US of being involved, he said, and neither would Prime Minister in speech, but GOI had established fact that planes were from Taiwan and they were being piloted by Americans and Chinese, and Prime Minister would say so.
He made strong plea for US taking some action in response to his request if for no other reason than to prevent serious reaction against Chinese Kuomintang community in Indonesia. There was basic undercurrent of hatred against Chinese in Indonesia anyway, he said, and continued evidence of Taiwan participation in active aid to rebels might well be spark setting off explosion.
Everyone knew US Government had great influence with GRC whereas Indonesian Government, not recognizing GRC, was not in position to make direct formal protest. He hoped US Government would undertake this on behalf GOI.
I made no comment on Foreign Minister’s request except to say that I would transmit it to Department. Foreign Minister did not at any point charge GRC with official participation in aid to rebels but indicated that use of facilities was not possible without at least knowledge or blessing of government.
Comment: I think at this stage it would be most helpful to us here if Line White could mention Foreign Minister’s request and indicate US Government would discuss matter with GRC in accordance therewith, without of course admitting implication GRC complicity. It would also [Page 127] be helpful if this could be coupled with repetition of previous statements to effect that US regards conflict as Indonesian affair and that it is against US policy to intervene in internal struggle.
In my view this would tend discourage growing conviction here that US Government is directly involved, continuing identification of US with rebel cause certain to provide Communists with unparalleled opportunity exploit their position here. In this connection see Embassy telegram 39661 immediately following.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 756D.00/4–3058. Secret; Niact.↩
- Document 75.↩