224. Memorandum of Conversation1
Washington, September 27, 1966, 10:45–11:05 a.m.
- Indonesian Foreign Minister’s Call on the President
- The President
- Indonesian Foreign Minister Adam Malik
- Mr. A. Sani, Director General of Indonesian Foreign Office
- Col. Sudjono, Personal Aide to General Suharto
- Walt W. Rostow
- William Jorden
- Ambassador Green
- After thanking the President for this opportunity to visit his office, Foreign Minister Malik described what he regarded as Indonesia’s most significant steps forward in recent months: Ending of Confrontation, entering into a constructive role in Southeast Asia’s regional affairs, resuming membership in the IMF, IBRD, the UN and its specialized agencies, as well as participating in the ADB.
- The President asked the Foreign Minister as to his views on what might be done, that is not already being done, to bring peace to Viet-Nam.
- The Foreign Minister replied that his Government had had talks with officials of Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and other Asian countries regarding Viet-Nam. He felt that all these countries had a strong common stake in seeking peace for Viet-Nam. However, Indonesia believes that any role which it could play in promoting peace should be pursued quietly with minimum public notice. Indonesia would thus hope to be in a position at the right time to exert a useful influence toward resolving the conflict. Meanwhile, it was his view that South Viet-Nam and its allies were left with no alternative but to maintain a strong position in defending South Viet-Nam.
- As to the President’s specific question about what the U.S. should or should not be doing in Viet-Nam, the Foreign Minister said that his country felt it was going to be difficult to reach any peaceful solution as long as the bombings of North Viet-Nam continued. He nevertheless recognized that North Viet-Nam is sending men and supplies to South Viet-Nam so that it may be difficult for the U.S. to cease bombing of installations related to these operations.
- The President agreed with this latter observation, commenting that the U.S. is prepared to stop the bombing if the other side halted its aggressive actions. The President then inquired whether, in the Foreign Minister’s opinion, the Communists had been decisively beaten in Indonesia.
- The Foreign Minister replied that the PKI has suffered a major setback but it still retains recovery capabilities which, if the new Government proves unable to improve economic conditions, could well lead to a resurgence of Communism. Thus, Indonesia’s fundamental task is improvement of the nation’s economy.
- In response to the President’s inquiry as to what is being done to cope with this problem, the Foreign Minister replied that his Government’s immediate need is food and clothing for the people, reactivation of industries, infrastructure improvement, and above all, overcoming the serious inflation now gripping Indonesia. Mr. Malik referred briefly to the Government’s stabilization program which is now getting underway and which envisages a balanced budget in 1967 assuming an adequate amount of new foreign aid.
- Mr. Rostow elaborated on steps which Indonesia is taking in the field of economic recovery. He described the role of the Fund and the Bank in advising Indonesia on its stabilization program, the outcome of the Tokyo meetings on debt rescheduling, and the close cooperation we hope to achieve with other countries in regard to future assistance to Indonesia.
- The President said that he thought it most important that close cooperation be maintained between Indonesia and those countries providing assistance in order to make most effective use of all resources, external and internal, required for Indonesia’s economic rehabilitation. He believed that these efforts should relate to a specific rehabilitation and development plan drawn up in consultation with a competent, objective authority such as the IMF.
- The President said he was watching developments in Indonesia with the greatest interest, and he extended to Foreign Minister Malik and his associates his best wishes.
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL INDON–US. Secret. Drafted by Green and approved by William Jorden on September 30. William Jorden also prepared a memorandum for the record of this meeting on September 27. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. VII, 5/66–6/67) The meeting took place in the White House. The closing time of the meeting is from the President’s Daily Diary. (Ibid.)↩