170. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Kennedy0
- Visit of President Sukarno
The following is a résumé of the principal points you may wish to emphasize during your discussions with President Sukarno:
Personal Relationship with Sukarno
- Sukarno places great store by personal relationships and will be at least as much impressed and influenced by your attitude toward him personally as by the substance of the discussions.
- He will be pleased if you express your knowledge and appreciation of him as father of Indonesia’s independence and as a major voice in world affairs.
- He considers himself a political innovator, having devised the concept of guided democracy by which his country is governed. He sees this essentially as development of a social and political system harmonious with Indonesian traditions and subservient to neither the West nor the East. Evidence that you understand and sympathize with his desire for a culturally and ideologically independent Indonesia will be extremely gratifying to him.
West New Guinea
- We are disturbed by this long and bitter dispute between Indonesia and the Netherlands and we believe it is in the best interest of all that a peaceful and satisfactory settlement be found.
- We have no specific solution to suggest but our study of the problem leads us to believe that some form of trusteeship involving the use of the United Nations may be a feasible approach. We would like President Sukarno to consider this possibility very seriously and let us have his comments. Dutch Foreign Minister Luns has indicated that he would consider this suggestion very carefully.
- We would be most unhappy to see armed hostilities erupt as we believe this would be contrary to the best interest of all concerned.
Economic Aid and Planning
We believe that the Indonesian 8-year plan provides a good framework for national economic development and we would like to cooperate [Page 379]to a substantial extent. If agreeable to President Sukarno, we would be willing to send a top-level economic team to Indonesia to consult with his Government as to the best ways that we can work together on this.
- We realize this case is in the courts and we have no wish to interfere with judicial processes.
- However, we sincerely hope that this might well not be allowed to be exploited by those wishing to disrupt our good relations.
United States Position on Colonialism
- Our position on Angola demonstrated the attitude of this administration toward colonialism.
- We would like President Sukarno’s understanding and help in meeting the aspirations of present and former colonies in ways that ensure genuine attainment of their goals rather than using them as propaganda pawns.
- Recent Soviet Union policy toward Laos has been very disappointing and leads us to question the sincerity of Russian policy toward that small country.
- We want a genuinely neutral Laos and we would be extremely grateful for President Sukarno’s help and understanding in achieving this aim.
- Source: Kennedy Library, President’s Office Files, Countries, Indonesia, Indonesia—Security, Sukarno Visit, 4/24—4/25/61. Secret.↩