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

1006. 1. Colonel Ethel conveyed to Nasution’s aide today our oral message (Deptel 447 and previous)2 re confrontation; aide took it down on a piece of paper and said he would give it to Nasution within the hour.3 He commented to effect that this was just what was needed by way of assurances that we (the army) weren’t going to be hit from all angles as we moved to straighten things out here.

2. Aide said that army is now rounding up suspect Chinese businessmen and seeking to find out through Chinese just what role ChiCom Embassy here played in aborted coup. Aide cautioned however that, even if army got the goods on Peking, Djakarta would have to be very careful about its relations with China. Army could not go after [Page 322]the ChiComs frontally, he said, but made a gesture with both his hands as if to suggest a subtle envelopment technique.

3. Aide said that army rounding up Communist cadres but having a hard time finding guns which had been disseminated. Asked if rumor were true that Lukman or others were starting a new Communist Party to replace the discredited PKI, aide said he did not know but he was looking into that kind of question.

4. Aide said that Antara would be allowed to continue its anti-NEKOLIM line but it would be played in lower key.

5. Aide heard about my talk with Suwito re Lovestrand. He thought that approach should work (Embtel 991).4

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 INDON. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD and passed to the White House.
  2. See footnote 4, Document 151.
  3. In telegram 2005 to London, October 15, the Department reported that Nasution received the message and was very satisfied with it, hoping that the “British will lay off.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 INDON)
  4. Dated October 13. (Ibid., PS 7–1 US–INDON/LOVESTRAND) Harold L.B. Love- strand was a missionary of the Evangelical Alliance Church. He, his wife, and four children were taken into custody by Indonesian authorities at Manokawari in August 1964. All but Harold Lovestrand were released in March 1965. After considerable U.S. representations, Harold Lovestrand was released on March 23, 1966. (Telegram 2710 from Djakarta, March 23, 1966; ibid.)