1. Telephone Conversation Between President Johnson and Secretary of Defense McNamara 1
[Here follows discussion unrelated to Indonesia.]
McNamara [hereafter McN]: I have got to go over to State in about thirty minutes on your Indonesia problem. [Here follows a further discussion on a possible buyout of Studebaker by Litton Industries.]
Johnson [hereafter LBJ]: All right. Now I talked to Dick Russell about that and he says that I ought to be impeached if I approve it [aid to Indonesia].
McN: On Indonesia?
LBJ: Yup. He is not that tough, but he is about that tough. And I told him that you felt the same way, and he said, well, I have been telling him about how right you were and why didn’t I listen to you.
McN: (laughter.) That is what I’m going to tell State. I’m meeting with Dean Rusk in about a half an hour on this.2
LBJ: I just wish you tell them that you made your judgment independently, but I just feel that I ought to be impeached if I approve it. That’s just how deeply I feel.
McN: There may be a middle ground that we can keep our employees on the payroll, and hold any important amount of aid. This is what I’m trying to find out.
LBJ: I made a speech on the Greek-Turkish policy in 1945 or 6 in which I said when you let a bully come in and start raiding you in your front yard, if you run, he’ll come in and run you out of your bedroom the next night. I don’t think we ought to encourage this guy [Sukarno] to do what he is doing there. And I think that any assistance just shows weakness on our part.
McN: I feel exactly that way.[Page 2]
LBJ: Well, just tell them that is exactly as I feel and you don’t want to get these recommendations down here and get them slapped back in your face. And let’s try and do something about it.
McN: I’ll try and do that.
- Source: Johnson Library, Telephone Recordings and Transcripts, Recording of a conversation between Johnson and McNamara, Tape F64.3, PNO 5, side A. No classification marking. This transcript was prepared by the Office of the Historian specifically for this volume.↩
- No record of this meeting has been found.↩