123. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Indonesia 1

1193. Embtels 2443 and 2444.2

We agree that this is appropriate time for President to write to Sukarno, both to indicate his continued interest in Ambassador Bunker’s mission and to encourage Sukarno’s early acceptance of your successor. We do not, however, believe that this is suitable occasion for introduction questions of substance on matters where we are in disagreement with Indonesia as this would be likely to deflect Sukarno’s attention. We have, therefore, shortened and revised your most helpful draft. Following is text of letter which you should deliver to Sukarno soonest:3

“Dear Mr. President:

Ambassador Bunker has recently reported to me on his mission to Indonesia. I have discussed with him his experiences and impressions and have read with much interest his report of his conversations with you and your advisers. I am deeply appreciative of the time which you personally gave him and the courtesies extended to him during his stay in Indonesia.

Ambassador Bunker’s mission has enabled us to obtain a fuller measure of understanding of your hopes and concerns for Indonesia. [Page 266]I hope that it has correspondingly brought you a clearer view of American policies and of our continuing desire for mutually friendly and beneficial relations between the United States and Indonesia.

I hope, Mr. President, that we can keep in personal contact, and I shall look forward to an opportunity when we can meet together for a closer discussion of the broad areas of our mutual interests. Although there are differences of view between us on some issues, I believe we should not allow these differences to impair the relationships which have existed between our governments and peoples over a number of years of friendly association.

I am very grateful for the many years of dedicated service which Ambassador Jones has given in the cause of friendly relations between our nations. We all regret his forthcoming retirement, but I have every confidence that we will be able to continue under his successor the tradition of friendship and close relations which Ambassador Jones has fostered.

Only a few days ago I had the pleasure of welcoming Ambassador Palar to Washington, and I trust, Mr. President, that either through the channels of our respective Ambassadors, or through this more direct means of personal correspondence, we may narrow the gaps that threaten to separate our countries and find and maintain a basis on which our peoples may continue to live in true peace and friendship.

With all good wishes,

Sincerely yours,”

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL INDON–US. Secret; Immediate; Verbatim Text; Limdis.
  2. In telegram 2443 from Djakarta, May 10, Jones suggested that Johnson send Sukarno a personal message and telegram 2444 from Djakarta, also May 10, contained the proposed text of the message. (Both Ibid.)
  3. In telegram 2550 from Djakarta, May 22, Jones reported that he delivered the letter to Sukarno that afternoon who expressed appreciation for it, reiterated his desire for good relations, and expressed hope Johnson would visit Indonesia. (Ibid.)