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

174. Department gravely concerned by developments of past few days, specifically:

Landing of Indo troops in Malaya.
Sukarno’s speech. As summarized your 312,2 speech contains little that is new, but is summary of current Indonesian view of world which is in conflict with our interests at almost every point.
Recent presumably PKI-organized actions against US private properties in fields rubber, petroleum and civil aviation.
Seizure Djogjakarta library.3

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On other hand we have also noted Indo temperance so far in reacting news Tower amendment4 and a few minor GOI actions such as granting permission for EmbOffs travel to West Irian.

Above numbered developments will obviously make much more difficult administration’s efforts to secure modification or deletion of Tower amendment from aid bill. They also lead Department to wonder whether, either as conscious program or as result unwillingness face down PKI, GOI is in process making rapid readjustment in its foreign policy toward break with US. While we realize difficulty of doing so in present confused situation, Department urgently requests your views on present situation and where it is trending as well as any recommendations you may have on US actions to meet situation.5

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL INDON–US. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted by Cuthell and approved by Green. Repeated to Kuala Lumpur.
  2. Sukarno’s Independence Day speech of August 17. In telegram 312 from Djakarta, August 17, the Embassy suggested that “Sukarno went far toward denouncing the USG as main enemy of Indo revolution and aligning Indo psychologically with Asian Communist regimes.” (Ibid., POL 15–1 INDON) For CIA and Embassy later assessments of the speech, see Document 62 and footnote 2 thereto.
  3. The Jefferson Library of the USIS in Djogjakarata was taken over by an anti-American mob on August 15.
  4. An amendment by Senator John Tower of Texas to the Foreign Assistance bill banning U.S. assistance to Indonesia and military training of Indonesian nationals in the United States. In a telephone call to Ball on August 17 at 5:45 p.m., President Johnson asked him to talk to Dirksen and Fulbright to see if the Tower amendment could be eliminated or made discretionary. (Johnson Library, Ball Papers, Telephone Conversations, Indonesia, [4/12/64–11/10/65])
  5. See Document 63 for Galbraith’s long-range assessment.