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.

  1. 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.
  2. No record of this meeting has been found.