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

35. Deptels action Djakarta 9, 10 refer.2 After further consideration analysis and proposals contained reftels in light responses interested posts,3 believe you should focus in farewell call on Sukarno on effect on US-Indo relation of Malaysian dispute and eschew discussion Conciliation Commission, withdrawals, or other substantive aspects dispute itself. Sukarno should be left with impression we have no intention of advancing further suggestions, that we see problem and current impasse in lapse Asian principals. Main purpose your call should be convey deep sense personal and official concern over deteriorating trend US-Indo relations which far transcend quarrel with Malaysia. Same approach and theme should predominate in other farewell talks with Indo leaders and Phil Amb. Reyes if you see him.

Suggest your remarks to Sukarno follow following lines:

You depart with sense disappointment at inconclusive results Tokyo meeting and current impasse in efforts principals find peaceful solution Malaysian problem, but with even stronger conviction that this is Asian problem and that Asian nations involved can and must find way out.
More profound and vastly more disturbing however is effect of military confrontation on US-Indonesian relations. Since 1945, US and Indo have differed on occasion, often strongly, on variety of issues. Nevertheless a common dedication to basic ideals and principles embodied in Pantja Sila and Declaration Independence has stood above these differences preserving friendship and understanding and encouraging close US-Indo cooperation in wide range common efforts. Over past six months however Indos’ policy re Malaysia has brought in its train progressively more serious deterioration in US-Indo relations, a trend which if unchecked could place basic fabric our relationship in jeopardy. This deterioration marked by series of actions of such evident [Page 121]hostility to US as to arouse doubts about Indonesian desires and intentions. To cite specific examples:
Intense and growing anti-US propaganda campaign throughout Indo, which obviously being carried on with Sukarno acquiescence. Not only has GOI allowed this campaign reach unprecedented levels but GOI leaders have directly contributed to it by participating in, and in some cases sponsoring, public functions at which US main target.
Apparent Indo decision abandon longstanding policy of non-involvement in Viet Nam issue (parting company, incidentally, with mainstream Afro-Asian attitude) in favor increasingly open support communist North Viet Nam and NLFSVN which is its agent. We can only take this as direct affront to US efforts defend South Viet Nam against external aggression—efforts which Sukarno must understand we are utterly determined pursue to successful conclusion.
Parallel Indo decision to place selves on communist side in Korea by recognizing Pyongyang regime. In this case, Indo not only offering affront to US but to UN as well.
Public statements by GOI leaders clearly portraying US as opponent Indo policies in Southeast Asia, such as Gen Yani’s June 22 remarks (Djakarta’s 2602) and Abdulgani’s June 28 speech (Djakarta’s 2638).4 FYI. Will leave to Ambassador whether cite these particular examples. We would not want undercut Yani’s position by singling him out for criticism and same goes to lesser extent for Abdulgani. On other hand, might even help Yani a bit to express concern at his remarks. End FYI.
Malaysian problem and confrontation has also within US tarnished Indonesian image and made it progressively more difficult for Indonesia’s friends in Government, Congress, the press, and public at large to understand and explain Indonesia’s position. To Sukarno Indo case needs no justification. Indonesia’s American friends, however, see South East Asia’s only major power, dwarfing all neighbors in area, population, natural resources, military strength, resorting to military force in political dispute with small, militarily weak neighbor, leaving this neighbor no honorable recourse but to draw into dispute European power whose departure from area Indonesia, paradoxically, wishes to accelerate. No one admires a bully.
You leave Indonesia with heartfelt hope Sukarno, Tunku, Macapagal, with assistance Asian-African nations can find solution this problem which is poisoning Indo-US friendship. You may wish draw on perspective your ten years close association with Indonesia to observe US has been true friend Indonesia with no other objectives in association [Page 122]than those Sukarno has so often stated for his country: freedom, dignity, prosperity, peace.5

Since objective would be to focus Sukarno’s attention on US-Indo relations, we would like to avoid encouraging Thai or Phil efforts which might look like US-sponsored follow-up. We would like to give Sukarno and others a week or two to mull over your departing thoughts and speculate on your Moscow visit, and only then would plan approach Phils or Thai along roughly same lines and offer proposal contained Deptel 11.6 Luns visit, Tunku’s travels hopefully offer prospect brief hiatus for further Asian peacemaking efforts.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 3 MAPHILINDO. Confidential. Drafted by Underhill, cleared by Cuthell, Harriman, and Green, and approved by William Bundy. Repeated to Kuala Lumpur, Manila, London, Canberra, and CINCPAC for POLAD.
  2. In telegrams 9 and 10 to Djakarta, both July 4, the Department suggested possible courses of action and presented its assessment of the positions of the parties in the wake of the Tokyo summit. (Both ibid.)
  3. The principal Embassy comments on telegrams 9 and 10 to Djakarta are in telegrams 70 from London, July 6; 34 from Kuala Lumpur, July 7; and 61 from Djakarta, July 8. (All ibid.)
  4. Dated June 23 and 29. (Ibid., POL ASIA SE–INDON)
  5. In telegram 94 from Djakarta, July 14, Jones reported on his final farewell talk with Sukarno in which Jones made all the points outlined in telegram 35 to Djakarta. Jones described the conversation as “whole unsatisfactory” with an impatient and irritable Sukarno countering every point made by Jones with criticism of the United States. Jones admitted that the meeting had been “discouraging and sobering.” (Ibid., POL INDON–US)
  6. Dated July 4. (Ibid., POL 3 MAPHILINDO)