255. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson 1

SUBJECT

  • Possibility of wheat sales to Indonesia

President Suharto and the rest of the Indonesian leadership are now very concerned about their economic problems. Suharto has indicated to our Ambassador his hope for substantial additional assistance from us, specifically including wheat.2 The proposal is not firm yet, [Page 553]but it does look as if it may be possible to arrange a sizable PL 480 wheat sale to Indonesia.

If the Indonesians are as anxious as they appear to be, we should be in a good position to extract from them some good measures to meet the problem of changing a rice-eating society to a wheat-eating society.

Are you still as anxious as before to move wheat through PL 480 sales?

Walt

Yes, follow up with vigor3
Only if the proposal makes sense in international terms
Call me

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. VIII, 6/67–6/68, [1 of 2]. Confidential.
  2. As reported in telegram 6116 from Djakarta, April 19. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 15 INDON)
  3. The President checked this option and underlined “vigor” twice. He also wrote: “promptly—Report back soonest.”