158. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy0
- Proposal for Dealing with the Dutch-Indonesian Dispute over West New Guinea (West Irian)
I transmit herewith (Tab A) a paper outlining the background and history of the dispute between the Netherlands and Indonesia over West New Guinea (West Irian), and suggesting a United States course of action for dealing with it This would be for the United States to seek the agreement of the states concerned to the establishment of a United Nations trusteeship for the area. We would first attempt to promote a trusteeship to be exercised by Malaya, which has taken an active interest in finding some way of settling the dispute. It would have to be assisted, financially and otherwise, by a consortium of powers. If we cannot work out a trusteeship by Malaya, which appears the most suitable candidate, we would intend to fall back upon a proposal that the United Nations organization might itself become the trusteeship authority.
I approve this line of approach. It has been discussed with Senator Fulbright, and also has his general approval.1
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 656.9813/4–361. Secret. There is no drafting information on the source text.↩
- No record of the discussion with Fulbright has been found.↩
- Printed from a copy that indicates Rusk signed the original.↩
Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, vol. XVII, pp. 564– 565. The study is published in full in the microfiche supplement to that volume.↩