80. Telegram From the Consulate in Hong Kong to the Department of State 1

541. Refs: Depcirtels 714, 715.2 From Ambs. Jones, Bell and Blair. We agree with broad outline policy Depcirtel 715. Amb. Jones will comment separately on Dept’s analysis situation within Indonesia (Depcirtel 714).3 We are in agreement on following specifics:

British apparently prepared to hold discussions with Indos and we believe they should accede to Tunku’s request that they proceed in such a way as to make clear UK cannot commit GOM, in order to protect GOM from further charges of being neo-colonial puppet. If British appear reluctant believe we should encourage them to proceed on basis of GOM suggestion.
US should not take separate initiative until we know results UK-Indo talks.
If GOM adamant re determination execute Indo regulars infiltrated or dropped Malaya, believe USG should make approach urging moderation in interest broader political considerations.
See no objection to instructions for Djakarta, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur as contained Deptel 715. Re KL instructions Bell just prior to departure KL spoke with Razak and indicated our view of Tunku’s revelation Indo feelers. Although other GOM leaders including Senu had agreed earlier that Tunku’s public statement unfortunate, Razak made no comment. There is some speculation in KL that reason for Tunku statement, as in the case of Indonesian approaches to British (which are included in his count of six “feelers”), was GOM fear Indo trap.

Following British-Indonesian discussions and assuming improved UK-Indo relations, we inclined believe best bet is still for secret Tunku/Sukarno meeting either with or without third party playing “Bunker” role.4 Benefits of third party have been partly spelled out from KL. We also recognize there may be detrimental aspect of inhibiting effect presence of third party might have on willingness of principals to be forthright. As to mechanics of such meeting, we believe Japanese might play useful role particularly as they most anxious to make contribution. If plan for such meeting were held closely by high level Japanese Govt., chances for leak would be minimized. No reason why Sukarno could not openly visit Japan as he has done often in past. Tunku might go secretly, possibly being brought in by Commonwealth military aircraft. Meeting could be held at secluded spot similar to Dutch-Indo discussions West Irian in Virginia. With full support of Japanese arrangements of this kind probably would avoid publicity. Japan might also offer an “Asian Bunker” to act as mediator. Although GOM suspicious of Oda, Tunku might be persuaded accept him. Another possibility would be Zafrulla Khan if were able undertake such a mission while ICJ justice.

Although GOM now suspicious of Pakistanis because of GOP attitude toward Communist China, they might be convinced in view Khan stature as an international figure and fact that he has not been associated with GOP recently.

This scenario illustrative and raises some problems such as willingness Tunku participate in plan which he may view as undignified for chief of govt. There are other possibilities such as meeting in Europe. Tunku in July was told by London eye specialists he should return for further examination in 3 or 4 months. Understand Sukarno may go to Vienna for further medical treatment in January. This could provide [Page 174]opportunity unobtrusive meeting. Both principals would have to agree to this plan well in advance to prevent further deterioration in situation based on uncertainty.

If bilateral summit proves unobtainable, suggest we then actively revive discussion possibility AACC with Aussies and UK. Believe it would be best for them, if they agree with the proposal, to make first approaches to GOM. We should indicate our willingness to try to get Macapagal to name Thais as Phil representative on AACC. Then GOM could pick reliable AA country, possibly Malagasy. We might also be prepared ask Macapagal to suggest to Thais that Japan should be fourth member of commission. If Indos select Pakistan, quadripartite commission would be in reasonably good shape, from US standpoint. Our approach would include understanding that all parties be urged as first order business to request immediate withdrawal of Indonesian guerrillas from all of Malaysia and seek guarantee complete cessation military activity.

If Tunku can be assured that AACC would make this first order business, Bell believes that US with help of Aussies and UK, could probably sell Tunku on basis that AACC offers best opportunity test Sukarno’s real intentions.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 32–1 INDON–MALAYSIA. Secret. Repeated to Bangkok, Djakarta, Kuala Lumpur, London, Manila, Tokyo, USUN, and CINCPAC for POLAD.
  2. Documents 78 and 79.
  3. The Embassy in Indonesia commented on this cable in telegram 783 from Djakarta, October 27. The analysis was originally sent to Jones in Hong Kong and was repeated to Washington at his request. While the Embassy believed the arguments in telegram 714 were “cogent and in broad aspects present realistic commentary on current Indonesian scene,” the most important factor not taken into consideration was the “depth of the current internal political jockeying in Indonesia” between moderate non-Communists and leftists and the PKI. A highly visible tripartite conference on Malaysia resulting in a tactical success for Sukarno could dissipate unity of the non-Communist coalition. The Embassy stressed the importance of quiet diplomacy. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 1 INDON)
  4. Ellsworth Bunker’s role in facilitating a solution in 1962 to the dispute between Indonesia and the Netherlands over West New Guinea/West Irian.