The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The series documents the formulation of policies, including the events which contributed to that process, and includes evidence of supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. This documentary editing proceeds in full accord with the generally accepted standards of historical scholarship. Official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series were first promulgated by Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg on March 26, 1925. These regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

A new statutory charter for the preparation of the series was established by Public Law 102–138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, which was signed by President George Bush on October 28, 1991. Section 198 of P.L. 102–138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 USC 4351, et seq.).

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series should include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government, including facts that contributed to the formulation of policies and records that provided supporting and alternative views to the policy positions ultimately adopted.

The statute confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purposes of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded.

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The General Editor of the series and the editor of this volume, which was compiled in 1980–1981, are convinced that it meets all regulatory, statutory, and scholarly standards of selection and editing. Although this volume records policies and events of more than 30 years ago, the statute of October 28, 1991, allows the Department until 1996 to reach the 30-year line in the publication of the series.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This volume is part of a triennial subseries of volumes of the Foreign Relations series. This subseries documents the most important issues in the foreign policy of the final three years (1958–1960) of the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Within the 1958–1960 subseries, six volumes and four microfiche supplements present the record of U.S. policy toward East Asia. This volume presents documentation on U.S. policy toward Indonesia. Volume XVIII covers Japan and Korea and Volume XIX documents U.S. policy toward China and the related question of the rebellion in Tibet. Volume I is devoted exclusively to Vietnam. Volume XVI includes an overview of U.S. regional policy for East Asia as well as extensive material on policy toward Cambodia and Laos. Volume XV includes material on the rest of Southeast Asia.

Additional documents on Indonesia are presented in a microfiche supplement to this volume (which also includes documents from Volume XVIII) and additional material on the rest of Asia is in microfiche supplements to Volumes XV, XVI, and XIX.

The statute of October 28, 1991, requires that the published record in the Foreign Relations series include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation on all the major foreign policy decisions and actions of the U.S. Government. It further requires that government agencies, departments, and other entities of the U.S. Government cooperate with the Department of State Historian by providing full and complete access to records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions and by providing copies of selected records. The editors believe that in terms of access to documentation this volume meets the standards and mandates of this statute.

Sources for the Foreign Relations Series

The editor responsible for research, selection, and annotation of this volume, Robert J. McMahon, had complete access to all the retired records and papers in the Department of State: the central files of the Department; the decentralized (“lot files”) of the Department at the bureau, office, and division levels; the files of the Department’s Executive Secretariat, which contain the records of international conferences and high-level official visits, correspondence with foreign leaders by the President and Secretary of State, and memoranda of conversations between the President and Secretary of State and foreign officials; and the [Page V] files of overseas diplomatic posts. Any failure to include a complete Department of State record in the Foreign Relations series cannot be attributed to constraints or limitations placed upon the Department historians in their access to Department records, information security regulations and practices notwithstanding.

The editor of this volume fully researched the papers of President Eisenhower and other White House foreign policy records. Presidential papers maintained and preserved at the Presidential libraries include some of the most significant foreign affairs-related documentation from other federal agencies including the National Security Council, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. All of this documentation has been made available for use in the Foreign Relations series thanks to the consent of these agencies and the cooperation and support of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Department of State historians have also enjoyed steadily broadened access to records of the Department of Defense, particularly the records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense and his major assistants.

As noted above, the statute of October 28, 1991, requires that the editors have full and complete access to all records pertinent to foreign policy decisions and actions. The research, compiling, and editing of this volume, however, were completed in 1981, with limited, back-ground only, access to Central Intelligence Agency records. Since early 1991, the Central Intelligence Agency, in cooperation with the Department of State, has provided expanded access to Department historians to high-level intelligence documents from those records still in the custody of that Agency. Submitting such documents for declassification review would have necessitated considerable delay in the publication of the volume, however, and the Department chose not to postpone publication. The Department of State historians’ expanded access was arranged by the History Staff of the Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency.

Apart from this exception, this volume was prepared in a manner consonant with the standards and mandates of the statute. The List of Sources, pages XIII–XVI, identifies the particular files and collections used in the preparation of this volume.

Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, Volume XVII

In selecting documents for inclusion in Volume XVII, the editor gave primary consideration to the formulation of policy within the U.S. Government and the most significant aspects of U.S. relations with Indonesia and the Netherlands. Indonesian claims to West New Guinea-West Irian made the Netherlands Government a more than interested [Page VI] observer in U.S.-Indonesian relations. Policy recommendations to President Eisenhower and his decisions with respect to government policies and actions are documented as fully as possible. Discussions and actions of the National Security Council and Presidential discussions of policy with Cabinet-level officers are included.

During the years 1958–1960, the Department of State played a leading role in the formulation of U.S. foreign policy. Secretaries of State John Foster Dulles and Christian A. Herter drew upon the Department’s expertise in advising the President and taking leading roles in the deliberations of the National Security Council. The editor sought to include material documenting their roles and, where relevant, the interaction of the Department of State with the Department of Defense or other government agencies. Reportage and intelligence estimates that were seen by high-level policymakers and may have influenced their policy decisions have also been included.

The editor sought to document as comprehensively as possible the implementation of U.S. policies toward Indonesia through exchanges between high-level U.S. officials and foreign government officials on key issues that were of primary concern to the policymakers at the time. The editor made no attempt to document the whole range of day-to-day relationships, issues, and contacts between the United States and Indonesia.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. Incoming telegrams from U.S. Missions are placed according to time of receipt in the Department of State or other receiving agency, rather than the time of transmission; memoranda of conversation are placed according to the time and date of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations series follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the chief technical editor. The source text is reproduced as exactly as possible, including marginalia or other notations, which are described in the footnotes. Texts are transcribed and printed according to accepted conventions for the publication of historical documents in the limitations of modern typography. A heading has been supplied by the editor for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the source text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected. Other mistakes and omissions in the source text are corrected by bracketed insertions: a correction is set in italic type; an addition in roman type. Words or phrases underlined in the source text are printed in italics. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the [Page VII] source text, and a list of abbreviations is included in the front matter of each volume.

Bracketed insertions are also used to indicate omitted text that deals with an unrelated subject (in roman type) or that remains classified after declassification review (in italic type). The amount of material not declassified has been noted by indicating the number of lines or pages of source text that were omitted. Entire documents withheld for declassification purposes have been accounted for and are listed by headings, source notes, and number of pages not declassified in chronological order. The amount of material omitted because it was unrelated to the subject of the volume, however, has not been delineated. All ellipses and brackets that appear in the source text are so identified by footnotes.

The unnumbered first footnote to each document indicates the document’s source, original classification, distribution, and drafting information. The source footnote also provides the background of important documents and policies and indicates if the President or his major policy advisers read the document. Every effort has been made to determine if a document has been previously published, and this information has been included in the source footnote.

Editorial notes and additional annotation summarize pertinent material not printed in the volume, indicate the location of additional documentary sources, provide references to important related documents printed in other volumes, describe key events, and provide summaries of and citations to public statements that supplement and elucidate the printed documents. Information derived from memoirs and other first-hand accounts have been used when appropriate to supplement or explicate the official record.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, established under Title IV of the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act, amended on October 28, 1991, reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and assists with any access and/or clearance problems that arise. Time constraints prevent the Advisory Committee from reviewing all volumes in the series. The Advisory Committee did not review this volume.

Declassification Review

The declassification review of this volume, which was completed in 1993, resulted in the decision to withhold 1.7 percent of the documents originally selected by Department of State historians and proposed for publication in this volume. The most important portions of the documents [Page VIII] withheld from publication as a result of the declassification review were those relating to the details of U.S. covert support of the Indonesian rebellion in Sumatra and Sulawesi (Celebes) and to liaison with other countries interested and involved in this operation. For the first time since the Foreign Relations volumes on Vietnam for 1963 were published, the U.S. Government has acknowledged the existence of and policy deliberations about a major covert operation. In this respect, Volume XVII is a transitional volume on the road to fuller release of information of important intelligence operations. Although the details are lacking, there is ample evidence that the United States encouraged and supported the rebellion until it was clear that it was failing. Then the United States shifted its policy toward support of the Indonesian military as the best bulwark against communism in Indonesia. In its general outline of these policies, the published record regarding policy toward Indonesia meets generally accepted scholarly standards of accuracy and completeness.

Although the details of U.S. intelligence operations in Indonesia cannot be published here, the editors regard the record as important to a public understanding of U.S. foreign policy toward an important country of East Asia. The statute of 1991 establishes a 30-year publication line for the series, and thus the foreign affairs record for the administration of Dwight D. Eisenhower must now be published. At such time as the remainder of the details of intelligence operations in Indonesia can be declassified as promised by the Central Intelligence Agency, consistent with national security criteria, the Department will take steps to disclose and publish it in an appropriate format.

The Department of State’s Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation has been apprised of the Department’s decisions regarding declassification review of this volume.

Those documents omitted in their entirety from this volume are identified (by description, date, and archival provenance) in the text where they would have been printed. Excisions from printed texts are identified by suitable editorial devices.

The Division of Historical Documents Review of the Office of Freedom of Information, Privacy, and Classification Review, Bureau of Administration, Department of State, conducted the declassification review of the documents published in this volume. The review was conducted in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12356 on National Security Information and applicable laws.

Under Executive Order 12356, information that concerns one or more of the following categories, and the disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause damage to the national security, requires classification: [Page IX]

military plans, weapons, or operations;
the vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, projects, or plans relating to the national security;
foreign government information;
intelligence activities (including special activities), or intelligence sources or methods;
foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States;
scientific, technological, or economic matters relating to national security;
U.S. Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
cryptology; or
a confidential source.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security and law. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State, other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government, and the appropriate foreign governments regarding specific documents of those governments.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the National Archives and Records Administration’s Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, in particular David Haight, who provided invaluable help in the collection of documents for this volume. Others who deserve special thanks include Sandra Meagher at the Department of Defense and officials at the United States Military History Institute.

Robert J. McMahon collected, selected, and edited the documents in this volume under the supervision of former Editor in Chief John P. Glennon. David W. Mabon provided planning and direction. General Editor Glenn W. LaFantasie and Edward C. Keefer supervised the final steps in the editorial and publishing process. Jeffrey Soukup prepared lists of persons, abbreviations, and sources. Vicki E. Futscher performed copy and technical editing. Barbara A. Bacon of Publishing Services Division (Natalie H. Lee, Chief) oversaw the production of the volume. Breffni Whelan prepared the index.

William Z. Slany
The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs

June 1994