150. Memorandum of Telephone Conversation Between the Under Secretary of State (Ball) and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (Helms)1

Helms asked Ball if he were deadset to get the dependents out of Indonesia. Ball replied that he could foresee a real civil war in Indonesia, however, this request had come in from Green himself. Ball said we were trying to get them out as inconspicuously as possible on commercial [Page 317]airlines.2 Ball informed Helms there were several companies in Indonesia. Ball asked Helms if he had doubts.

Helms said in light of the sentiments he guessed this was the right thing to do. The President would be disturbed if there were street fighting.

Ball said he thought the communists would go underground and the country could go up in flames. Ball said he would feel better if the women and children were not there. In three weeks all dependents would have departed. Helms asked if we were keeping them in the area. Ball said we had told them to come on home but we don’t really care where they take them.

Helms told Ball he was with him on this.3

  1. Source: Johnson Library, Ball Papers, Telephone Conversations, Indonesia, [4/12/64–11/10/65]. No classification marking.
  2. In telegram 401 to Djakarta, October 6, the Department instructed the Embassy to begin moving of U.S. families out of Indonesia by international air carriers. In order to make the operation unobtrusive, the Embassy could explain at least at the beginning of the process that these were routine transfers for home leave, medical reasons, and so on. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–1966, POL 23–INDON)
  3. At 5:30 p.m. on October 7, Ball talked on the telephone with McNamara about the possibility of sending the evacuation task force back to home ports. Ball worried that there could be a civil war in 2 or 3 days, but he agreed with McNamara that the evacuation force could return slowly. (Johnson Library, Ball Papers, Telephone Conversations, Indonesia, [4/12/64–11/10/65])