132. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Berger) to the Staff Assistant of the Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Johnston)1


  • Status Report: Indonesia

I. Green Recommendations on Staffing

A. Green foresees no immediate physical threat to Americans. He recommends a further reduction of U.S. establishment in Indonesia, but urges that this be done in a gradual and orderly manner that will avoid indications of a sudden crash operation.

He now leans towards withdrawing all university contract Americans.
Green plans soon to submit the Embassy’s thinking on basic USG contingency planning to counter a possible increase in Indonesian pressures. He feels the recommendations will be more pertinent if made in the post-August 17 context.

II. Department Actions on Personnel Reduction

We have placed a freeze on the movement of all USG personnel to Indonesia.
Our Embassy has been instructed to draw up a plan to reduce its staff to the hard core necessary to maintain essential, as opposed to desirable, contacts and reporting. Our Consulates in Medan and Surabaya have been asked to appraise the present danger arising from the anti-American atmosphere, and to assess the utility versus the risk of maintaining a consular presence.
On August 6 discussions were held in the Department with representatives of the major U.S. companies with holdings in Indonesia to inform them of our intended course of action and to learn their present views of the situation.2

III. Prospects for August 17

The separation of Singapore from Malaysia may turn the August 17 Independence Day ceremony into a victory celebration, thereby diverting the major thrust of Sukarno’s remarks away from the U.S. and USG policies.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 INDON. Secret. Drafted by Robert P. Myers, Jr., of SPA. Originally directed to Under Secretary Mann, but his name was crossed out and “For James D. Johnston” was typed at the top of the memorandum.
  2. Berger, Cuthell, and Francis G. Jarvis, Economic Adviser, SPA, and H. Kent Goodspeed met with representatives of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, U.S. Rubber Company, American Overseas Petroleum Ltd., Esso Standard Eastern, and Mobil Petroleum Ltd. (Memoranda of conversation, August 6; ibid., INCO 15–2)