274. Telegram From Secretary of State Rogers to the Department of State 1

Secto 62/3255. Subj: Secretary’s Bilateral with Indonesian Foreign Minister Malik, September 26.

Malik began conversation by discussing West Irian. In UN context he said he hoped to have matter handled as expeditiously as possible, but it now appeared it would not come up until end October or early November. He would have to make another trip to New York at that time. He saw no problems in getting report through UN.2 Amb. Abdulgani said they were discussing with the Netherlands a joint resolution to take note of report.
Malik then gave a long report on Indonesia’s debt problems. He said he met Abs before going to Africa and discussed his proposal. [Page 591]He understands there will be a meeting in Paris in Oct. He knew there were problems with the proposal on the American side and there are also problems for the Japanese. Aichi told him problems in three areas (a) the long repayment period, (b) interest, and (c) debts on which agreed term of repayment exists. Malik suggested to Aichi that perhaps they could arrange exchange of views at World Bank meeting.
Before leaving Djakarta he met USSR mission which had come at Indonesian invitation to discuss debts. Soviets wanted hold discussion on basis 1966 Protocol which called for $7–8 million short term payment 1967–68–69 and $22 million long term repayment beginning 1970. Under present circumstances Indonesia could not meet payments. Negotiations almost ended at this point. Malik suggested negotiation turn to discussion new Indonesian proposal. This was close to the Abs’ terms except had asked Soviets for 35 years repayment and had avoided linking proposal to Abs plan. Soviets said workers country could not be philanthropic and reduce interest to zero. However, it might put off interest payments and accumulate same until Indonesia in position to pay. Malik felt door still open for future negotiations.
His impression was that there is change in Soviet tactics regarding Indonesia and, if debt problem worked out, Soviets will finish aid projects Indonesians wish completed. Soviets might even increase amounts available. The Soviet del also offered possibility assist Indonesian government projects with experts and material. On navy and air force spares, Soviet said they would supply on cash and carry basis.
Malik turned to special development fund for West Irian. Dutch and Australians have already agreed to supply some funds and he hoped US would come in. Amb. Sujatmoko said this already discussed with Green. He noted President Nixon’s indication personal interest this matter and his request he be reminded. He said Dutch were pressing for establishment of fund for “internal political purposes.” Dutch have agreed to 5 million dollar contribution but Australia not yet committed on amount. Dutch hope for fund establishment in November, but need not have prior US agreement. Secretary suggested further talks with Green and pointed out time problems facing US in obtaining Congressional approval. Sujatmoko said he was in touch with Green and Barnett. Secretary recommended he also talk to Samuels.
Secretary raised possibility Malik undertake activities here stimulate private investment. Sujatmoko said 20 man group now in New York on this project. Perhaps October/November Malik trip might provide better time. Secretary suggested talks with James Lennon and Sujatmoko said they were in touch.
Secretary suggested Malik also undertake improve relations with key Congressional leaders. Malik agreed this useful and suggested [Page 592]October/November time frame. Secretary asked to be reminded and suggested either lunch at Dept or visit to Hill. Sujatmoko requested Mansfield be included in order refute concern expressed his report that US exceeding self-imposed 1/3 formula in Indonesia. Secretary emphasized benefits close personal contact 3 or 4 Congressional leaders citing South Korean success this field. He urged this be undertaken at present time when Indonesian image with US public very good. Sujatmoko said he would discuss this with Green.
Malik asked for Secretary’s views on Vietnam and the Middle East. Secretary indicated no great change in situation since their last conversation. He said he saw no willingness yet on the part of the North Vietnamese to enter useful talks. However, he noted change in tactics, quoting President’s press conference statement that infiltration rate down by 2/3 and also noting decrease enemy activity. He viewed this as good sign and said if other side wished reinstitute offensive operations it would require build up time. He also noted casualty ratio remains unfavorable North Vietnam. He expressed pleasure over smooth progress redeployment program. He hoped opposition would conclude negotiations would offer best result. He indicated US willingness discuss difficult problem setting up mutually agreeable system supervise free elections, regardless what required. Other side had not indicated willingness discuss. If they continue obdurate we will continue Vietnamization.
On ME Secretary said we have hopes of movement but have word problems. Malik asked if these on both sides. Secretary suggested possible success Rhodes Formula, but noted difficulties Riad experienced with press when he raised this. He noted Israeli difficulties due October election and said hoped resume four power talks about Oct 20. Malik asked if the USSR was willing and the Secretary said yes but they held different views. Malik said in his discussion Soviets, Malik USSR) had said four powers willing but contestants not agreeable. Secretary agreed contestants must be party to any solution. Malik said he would have opportunity further soundings at non-aligned meeting scheduled tomorrow in New York.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL US. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Djakarta. Rogers was in New York to attend the 24th Session of the UN General Assembly.
  2. On April 1, 1968, UN Secretary-General U Thant had appointed Fernando Ortiz Sanz as his Representative for the “act of free choice” under which the inhabitants of West Irian would decide whether they wished to remain with or sever their ties with Indonesia, under the terms of the agreement between Indonesia and the Netherlands of August 15, 1962. The representative made a number of reports on the progress Indonesia had made on this issue. On November 6, 1969, the Secretary-General reported to the General Assembly concerning the act of self-determination. In his report the Secretary-General reported to the General Assembly concerning the act of self-determination. In his report the Secretary-General annexed the final reports submitted to him by his Representative and by the Indonesian Government, which described in detail the arrangements, conduct, and results of the act of free choice. Malik is evidently referring to one of these reports. (United Nations Yearbook, 1969, pp. 175–177). The act of free choice, the Secretary-General said, had been held between July 14 and August 2, when the enlarged West Irian councils, which had included a total of 1,026 members, pronounced themselves, without dissent and on behalf of the people of West Irian, in favor of remaining with Indonesia.