34. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Daily White House Staff Meeting, 4 March 1964

1. Mr. Bundy presided over a meeting much more reflective in tone than is normally the case.

[Page 68]

[Here follows discussion of an upcoming NSC meeting and Cyprus.]

4. Indonesia/Malaysia. There are reports that discussions between Sukarno and the Tunku have been broken off. The reports may be exaggerated, but they did bring to Bundy’s mind the question of whether we can much longer put off the Presidential determination of whether Indonesia should continue to receive economic assistance. He felt it was inevitable that we would have to cut off aid.2 He raised several questions on the matter, however. First, he wondered whether the Attorney General would be of the same mind, or whether the Attorney General would say that the Tunku has behaved as badly as Sukarno. Komer affirmed that the AG would say the latter, and with some justification. The argument was that the Tunku could afford to be statesmanlike but wasn’t. He is evidently up for election and, although Komer said there is no competition, Bundy responded by saying that high level officials running for re-election do not like to hear what “shoo-ins” they were. This discussion closed with Bundy commenting that the aid determination would have to be dealt with soon.

[Here follows discussion of an OAS resolution and Presidential visits.]

  1. Source: National Defense University, Taylor Papers, Chairman’s Staff Group, White House Daily Staff Meetings, Box 25. Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted by Colonel William Y. Smith of the NSC staff.
  2. Smith recounted the following discussion at the February 24 White House staff meeting:” Bundy commented that he thought it was about time we took some action against Sukarno, and that we should initiate steps to cut off our economic aid from him. He realized that this was an unpopular position, that the Attorney General probably did not agree with it, and that he (Bundy) perhaps could be talked out of his present thinking. Nevertheless, he felt that we could not continue to support Sukarno if he continues to behave as he now is.” (Ibid.) On February 25 Komer wrote Bundy a 2-page note explaining why it was the wrong time for a “showdown” with Indonesia. (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. I, Memos 11/63–4/64)