145. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between Acting Secretary of State Ball and Secretary of State Rusk 1

Secretary wanted to know if there was anything special this morning on Indonesian situation. Ball mentioned the telcon during the night,2 which Secretary said he had seen. Ball said situation still pretty opaque, but definite indications that army under General Suharto 3 and, from that point of view, doesn’t look too bad. Ball said PKI have definitely aligned themselves with Untung side which seems to be the losing side. Secretary said this could work out advantageously later in the [Page 304]day. Ball said he was surprised that there had been nothing from Sukarno. Secretary said he was probably dead or seriously ill.

[Here follows discussion unrelated to Indonesia.]

  1. Source: Johnson Library, Ball Papers, Telephone Conversations, Indonesia. [4/12/64–11/10/65]. No classification marking. Ball was in Washington, Rusk was in New York.
  2. In this teleconference, October 2, Ball asked the Embassy four questions: what was the current situation, who was in ascendancy, what was Sukarno’s status and if unknown, what was the Embassy’s estimate, and what was the situation with the PKI? The Embassy responded that Djakarta was relatively quiet with forces loyal to Untung no longer a major military threat. Suharto was in ascendancy, Sukarno’s status was unknown, but he was not supporting the Army. He was in order of probability either dead, incapacitated, in custody, waiting for the dust to settle, or he masterminded the whole affair to discredit the Army (highly unlikely). PKI was not active but still prepared and able to combat Army repression. Green did not think evacuation of Americans was necessary and could even be counterproductive. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 INDON)
  3. The CIA prepared an intelligence memorandum on Suharto’s background on October 2. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. V, Memos, 10/65–11/65)