U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Home Issues & Press Travel & Business Countries Youth & Education Careers About State Video
 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Office of the Historian > Foreign Relations of the United States > Johnson Administration > Volume XXVI
Foreign Relations 1964-1968, Volume XXVI, Indonesia; Malaysia-Singapore; Philippines  
Released by the Office of the Historian

Documents 25-43

25. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/

Washington, January 23, 1964, 11:01 a.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 7 US-KENNEDY. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted and approved by Secretary Rusk.

4456. For Attorney General from Secretary. My warm congratulations on the job you have done in Tokyo, Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Djakarta. It may well prove to be a major turning point in the entire position in Southeast Asia. As a minimum you have obtained public commitments from Sukarno which give us powerful leverage to restrain him from rash action in the future.

In your talks in London/2/ you should emphasize that we were not presuming to interfere in someone else's problem but that we were faced with a major watershed in the future of our own relations with Indonesia. President could not make a determination to proceed with aid in the face of Indonesian guerrilla action against Malaysia. On the other hand to discontinue aid would lead to complete rupture with Indonesia, seizure by them of major US investments, and firm implantation of ChiCom influence in Indonesia through PKI. You were highly successful in staying out of the details of a possible solution but you did prepare an opportunity for Sukarno to back away without undue loss of face and got for the Tunku a publicly declared suspension of military confrontation which must relieve him.

/2/In a January 24 message to Rusk, Home stated that he looked forward to meeting Robert Kennedy, but he added that, "Sukarno's rantings about continuing confrontation by other means do not encourage me to think that he has in any way changed his spots or altered his aim which he has just reiterated as 'crush Malaysia.' " (Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Malaysia, Vol. I, Memos, 11/63-3/64)

Again, my warm personal thanks.



26. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to President Johnson/1/

Washington, January 25, 1964.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Robert W. Komer, Malaysia, Dec. 1963-Mar. 1966. Secret.

The Attorney General's mission is apparently accomplished. Despite Sukarno's growls he did call a cease-fire (though continuing his subversion in Malaya proper which we'll have to watch). The Tunku in turn has agreed to a foreign ministers' meeting without insisting on recognition first.

Even the British are grateful, though constantly fearful of Indo trickery./2/ Bobby sees Home for lunch Sunday./3/

/2/Telegram 35123 from London, January 26, contains an account of Kennedy's discussion with British Prime Minister Home. Telegram 3497 from London, January 25, contains an account of Kennedy's discussion with British Foreign Secretary Butler. (Both, National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 7 US-KENNEDY) In a brief memorandum to the President, January 27, which Johnson saw, Komer noted that the "British, while highly suspicious of Sukarno, were signed on by Bobby (indeed they talked more about Cyprus than Malaysia). So it still looks like a very successful mission, though we've only bought time and reversed the trend towards crisis. Tough job now will be to promote a negotiated compromise." (Johnson Library, National Security File, International Meetings and Travel, Attorney General's Trip, [1/64])

/3/January 26.

Best word is that the AG will be back here about 7:30 pm Sunday. We don't want to overplay his mission because the deal may yet fall apart; yet we do want to convey the feeling that we've got things moving in the right direction, so as to make it harder for Sukarno, the Tunku, or the UK to insult us by reneging. Would you want to give Bobby any special reception?

R.W. Komer/4/

/4/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.


27. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, January 28, 1964, 6:30 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret; Priority; Limdis.

2872. From Forrestal for Harriman, Marshall Green and Cleveland. Attorney General has approved fol message to be dispatched as soon as possible to Macapagal, Sukarno and Tunku; information Bangkok, Canberra and London:

"I have just reported to President Johnson on my fruitful discussions with you, with leaders of Malaysia, the Philippines and the United Kingdom, and with the Foreign Minister of Thailand. I want to tell you again how much I appreciated the courtesy and consideration with which you received me. President Johnson agrees with me that we can all look with real satisfaction at the results of these discussions which were due largely to the frank and constructive spirit with which you approached them. If this spirit can be maintained through the crucial weeks that lie ahead, there is no doubt that your nation and its neighbors will have gone far to achieving a stable and mutually beneficial peace.

I have also just reported to the Secretary General of the United Nations/2/ and have told him that all three nations were agreeable to having Thailand designated by him as the disinterested party who would observe and investigate any incident which may occur on either side of the borders in Kalimantan during the period of the conferences. The Secretary General will no doubt be getting in touch with your representatives at the United Nations in New York, and I hope that the appropriate arrangements can be made simply and quickly.

/2/The account of Kennedy's hour meeting with U Thant is in telegram 2880 from USUN, January 28. (Ibid.)

In the meantime, it is essential in my judgment, that the spirit of our discussions be maintained, that every effort be made to avoid armed clashes, that political offensives, both overt and covert, be suspended, and that all parties exercise the utmost restraint in responding to real or imagined provocation by another.

Finally, I hope that the three countries will extend full cooperation to the Secretary General and to Mr. Thanat Khoman, Foreign Minister of Thailand, who are undertaking a most difficult role. They both deserve our thanks."

For Djakarta: At meeting today in NY, SYG told Attorney General that Indonesian Amb. Palar had reported Indonesian Govt not willing have SYG act in designating Thailand as investigator of incidents. SYG agreed to designate Thailand if he received assurances from Indonesian Govt that this was acceptable. Attorney General later saw Amb. Palar and asked him to report to President Sukarno and Dr. Subandrio Attorney General's clear understanding in Djakarta that Indonesians were agreeable to having SYG act in designating Thailand. Amb. Jones, who was present these conversations, should take this matter up orally with Subandrio and/or Sukarno at time he delivers letter. Amb. Jones should also emphasize extreme importance of avoiding provocative action during pre-conference period.

For example, presence of Indonesian troops in North Kalimantan or sabotage or similar activities in Singapore or on Malaysian peninsula, would be disastrous.

For Manila: AFP ticker reported today on suggestion, presumably by Lopez, that tripartite ministers' meeting take place Manila instead of Bangkok. If this is true, Amb. Stevenson should emphasize to Macapagal real dangers of this kind of maneuver. It was with great difficulty that Attorney General was able to get all parties agree to have Thais exercise their twin role as organizers of Tripartite Meeting and investigators of incident. At request of all parties, including Macapagal, Attorney General has requested Thais to take on this job, and has just reported this to SYG. This reported activity by Philippines could undermine entire fragile structure.

For Bangkok: You should inform Thanat substance of this message.



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

Washington, January 31, 1964, 7:34 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Sullivan and Ingraham; cleared by Cuthell, Forrestal, Harriman, and Green; and approved by Rusk. Also sent to Kuala Lumpur and Manila, and repeated to Bangkok, London, Wellington, and CINCPAC for POLAD.

835. Department anticipates that within immediate future several of our Embassies will be approached by principals in Indonesian- Malaysian dispute concerning U.S. position on settlements to be sought in forthcoming negotiations. Department does not want any of our Ambassadors take initiatives to impose U.S. ideas upon Asian principals themselves, but we do consider it important that there be consensus among Ambassadors as well as between Ambassadors and Department. Department's thoughts on optimum settlement which we could foresee are set forth below:

Our over-all security interests in region are such that we obviously would not welcome settlement which would seriously undermine our position in region or that of our Western allies. In effect, we are willing to go along with any settlement freely negotiated by principals provided it falls within these limits.

Following are minimum results which we believe our interests require emerge from any settlement:

1. Indonesian assaults on Malaysia in form guerrilla incursions and terrorist activities must be abandoned.

2. Sovereignty and territorial integrity Malaysia must be preserved. FYI only. This does not necessarily rule out some sort of pro forma testing popular will in Sabah and Sarawak but does rule out any formula which casts doubt on present legal status these states as part of Malaysia. End FYI.

3. Basic orientation Malaysia and Philippines as members Free World system of alliances must not be compromised in fact or by implication.

4. Security of SEA nations will depend on presence in area of sufficient Western power to contain Communist Bloc until such time as SEA nations are able provide their own defense, which still in remote future. No settlement which anticipates early departure U.S. or UK military presence or adds to difficulties we face in maintaining it would be acceptable or realistic. British military establishment in Malaysia must remain until such time as British and Malaysians themselves freely determine that its presence no longer necessary. U.S. bases in Philippines must be recognized as bilateral matter between U.S. and Philippines, not one of legitimate concerns to other two parties.

Foregoing results conceivably could emerge even if forthcoming negotiations failed achieve formal settlement, since they require nothing more than Indonesia's renunciation force in pursuit its policies toward Malaysia. Although this sort of "agreement to disagree" would be preferable to all-out confrontation, it would not be satisfactory. In our view, optimum settlement of dispute would require following additional results:

1. Resumption diplomatic relations between Malaysia and other two.

2. Agreement on method of disposing of Philippine claim to Sabah once and for all.

3. Cessation all aspects Indonesian political and propaganda confrontation against Malaysia and of all Malaysian countermeasures.

4. Full restoration normal transportation and communications between Indonesia and Malaysia.

5. Lifting of Indonesian economic boycott against Malaysia and of Malaysian countermeasures. (We would not, however, expect Indonesians to drop their campaign to divert export trade from Singapore, but merely to rationalize it, stretch it out, and remove it from context of confrontation.)

Would be unrealistic hope that all of foregoing can be included in neat package worked out at Bangkok tripartite meeting for ratification subsequent summit. At same time, U.S. has made major effort to bring this meeting about, and that we have committed good deal our influence and prestige in process. Matter has now been placed in hands Asian principals--where it should be--but if they fail achieve enough progress to insure that there is no return to all-out confrontation of past few months, situation will inevitably deteriorate dangerously. We envisage tripartite meeting as forum either to reach firm settlement or to pave way for further negotiations which will result in settlement, and we think it absolutely essential that meeting achieve--at very least--enough success to create real, irreversible momentum toward settlement.

Request immediate reaction of Ambassadors to these views./2/ Once consensus has been achieved Department believes Ambassadors can usefully employ concerted viewpoint to present uniform U.S. reactions to various proposals or suggestions which may be floated by other parties.

/2/In telegram 676 from Kuala Lumpur, February 3, the Charge stated "I would go beyond minimum requirements set forth in reftel. Not only should assaults in form of guerrilla incursions and terrorist activity be stopped but to preserve sovereignty and territorial integrity Malaysia, Indo military within Malaysia must be withdrawn and Indos must accept right of Malaysian forces deal as they see fit with own nationals in state of revolt." (Ibid.) In telegram 1609, February 3, the Embassy in Djakarta replied that the Department's analysis of minimum acceptable terms for a settlement was "sound." (Ibid.)



29. National Security Action Memorandum No. 278/1/

Washington, February 3, 1964.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, National Security Action Memorandums, NSAM 278. Confidential. Copies were sent to McGeorge Bundy, Forrestal, and Johnson, presumably Charles E. Johnson of the NSC staff.

The Secretary of State
The Secretary of Defense
The Administrator, Agency for International Development

Presidential Determination re Aid to Indonesia

The President has decided that no determination with respect to aid to Indonesia should be made pending the outcome of the tripartite ministerial conference in Bangkok and the summit conference of the three Asian leaders, which is expected to follow. In the meantime, existing programs of economic and MAP assistance are to continue, subject to continuing review by the Secretaries of State and Defense.

McGeorge Bundy


30. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Malaysia/1/

Washington, February 18, 1964, 7:59 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1, INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Cuthell, cleared by Harriman, and approved by Hilsman. Also sent to Manila, Djakarta, Bangkok, London, Canberra, Wellington, and Singapore and repeated to CINCPAC for POLAD.

679. Following is summary Dept's understanding of current status of Indonesia-Malaysia dispute:

1) Thanat has accepted observer function in Eastern Malaysia despite SYG's unwillingness designate Thailand. Dept has no evidence, however, that Thais have taken or contemplate action to pre-position observers in Malaysia or Indonesia.

2) Sukarno seems agreeable to accepting Bangkok language on disengagement Indo guerrillas (Bangkok's 1288),/2/ but makes it clear he does not in fact intend withdraw them until "political settlement" reached.

/2/Dated February 10. (Ibid.)

3) GOI and GOP expect second round FonMins meeting in Bangkok late February where intend seek "political settlement" which both see as centering on further supervised determination of will of people in Eastern Malaysia. GOM is moving toward refusal participate until Indo guerrillas withdrawn.

4) Tunku-Macapagal meeting less productive than first reported--no real agreement on North Borneo claim and renewed GOP pressure for self-determination.

If foregoing is correct summary, situation may be headed toward new impasse, and further efforts to head it off are necessary. Essential elements in problem are presence Indo guerrillas, need for further meetings, and nature of possible political solution.

In regard guerrillas, Dept's understanding is that there now about 150-200 Indo nationals operating in Eastern Malaysia among some 2,000 locals. Great majority now inactive, and some removing themselves from scene by surrender or return Indonesia. This is very small number, is manageable military threat, and can be substantially eliminated by attrition if HMG-GOM keep up quiet pressure as suggested Deptel 668 to Kuala Lumpur./3/ Only real danger from these people lies in possibility their continued unresisted presence might legitimize their status in Malaysian territory, which GOM can avoid by adhering to its "reservation" in Bangkok communique or through GOI acceptance disengagement language Bangkok's 1288.

/3/Dated February 13. (Ibid.)

Dept appreciates GOM reluctance meet with Indos until guerrilla problem solved, but believes failure to meet would make situation worse. Present cease fire based on assumption talks in progress, and GOM refusal to meet could be interpreted by Indos as evidenced agreement with Kennedy violated by GOM, position which GOP might well support. Dept and GOM's friends well aware GOM has excellent legal and moral case, but if negotiations fail because GOM has broken them off, Malaysian position would undoubtedly be weakened in eyes much of UN. For this reason Dept believes it important GOM continue participate in meetings. It can continue insist Indos withdraw guerrillas before making broader settlement, but must not allow Indos get upper hand by breaking off talks.

Dept does not wish to be drawn into substance of general settlement, but believes GOM puts itself in no danger by agreeing to further meetings and discussions. GOM not obliged accept proposals re self-determination which it feels are humiliating or which impugn its sovereignty, can counter current proposals by pointing out that next national elections in Borneo, presumably in four or five years, will inevitably reflect any significant popular disaffection with Malaysia. Dept continues believe that the principals can work out some agreeable formula if they keep talking, while breaking off talks might well cause cease fire to collapse.

For Kuala Lumpur: Bell should discuss foregoing with Razak, suggesting he 1) deal with guerrilla question as outlined Deptel 668, 2) agree attend another round FonMin talks and try to keep discussions going. Bell should emphasize that we do not and will not ask Malaysians buy off Indos by giving up anything important to Malaysia, but are greatly concerned at what likely follow if GOM refuses participate further.

For Djakarta: Ambassador should make further approach to Sukarno on guerrilla withdrawal question. May wish discuss with Subandrio beforehand in view Sukarno's adamant reaction to last approach. With both, Ambassador should emphasize following, making clear you speaking under instructions:

1. Sukarno's agreement with Attorney General did not deal with continuing presence guerrillas on Malaysian soil after Bangkok talks began, and can by no stretch of imagination be construed to sanction this interpretation.

2. GOI cannot expect Malaysians to bargain over withdrawal guerrillas or to offer any concessions in return for their withdrawal, and we would not consider asking them to do so. Presence of guerrillas is not negotiating asset for GOI, but has become serious liability in working toward peaceful settlement. Any effort reinforce or supply guerrillas would, of course, violate Kennedy agreement and be intolerably provocative to GOM.

3. If GOI fears Indonesia would lose prestige by announcing withdrawal these forces, matter could be settled without publicity. GOI could and should simply inform GOM of its acceptance compromise language on disengagement and then proceed withdraw guerrillas without announcing fact to anyone.

For Manila: Ambassador should review above points for Djakarta with Macapagal, emphasize that guerrilla problem must be resolved before real progress can be made in further Bangkok meetings.

For Bangkok: Ambassador should discuss all of foregoing with Thanat and report his views.

London, Canberra and Wellington may discuss above with FonOffs.



31. Memorandum From Michael V. Forrestal of the National Security Council Staff to the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Hilsman)/1/

Washington, February 19, 1964.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Robert W. Komer, Malaysia, Dec. 1964-Mar. 1966. Secret. Copies were sent to Robert Kennedy, Harriman, and Komer.


I am getting concerned that the agreement to negotiate the difference in this dispute is beginning to come unstuck. It seems to me there are two problems:

1. Sukarno is unwilling to give up the bargaining power represented by the continued presence of Indonesian controlled guerrillas in Malaysian territory without simultaneous political concessions from the Malaysians.

2. The Tunku is essentially unwilling to continue the talks until after Sukarno has agreed on a withdrawal. His position is further complicated by the pending election in April, which makes it difficult for him to devise any significant political concessions.

As a result, it is doubtful whether the next Ministerial meeting, scheduled for February 25, will achieve any results; if indeed, it takes place at all. In the meantime, we are still living under the time threat of the Broomfield Amendment.

The situation suggests to me that we must take some initiative between now and the 25th, designed to keep the next meeting from breaking apart, and perhaps getting us through the period of the Malaysian elections. Several thoughts have occurred to me:

1. We might tell Sukarno that time is running out for us for domestic reasons, and that unless there is some progress in the next talks, the administration will find itself in an impossible situation with respect to the Broomfield Amendment. Something has to be found to save the next Foreign Ministers' meeting. One possibility is an agreement by Sukarno to withdraw members of regular Indonesian forces who may be in North Borneo. During the Attorney General's trip we were under the impression that there were no regular forces in North Kalimantan, only native guerrillas. Now it turns out that the British have captured twelve Indonesian marines, although they have kept this quiet. It would be to Sukarno's interest in the eyes of world opinion if he agreed to withdraw his regular people.

2. Macapagal's visit to Djakarta gives us an opportunity to use him as a way of speaking bluntly to Sukarno. A draft message from the President to Macapagal to take advantage of this visit is attached./2/

/2/The attached draft letter was sent to Macapagal in telegram 1219 to Manila, February 20. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1, INDON-MALAYSIA)

3. Simultaneously we should tell the Tunku that his demand for withdrawal of guerrilla units is a step back from the understanding he had with the Attorney General./3/ The underlying principle of the Attorney General's transaction was that the parties agreed to stop the fighting and to talk. The questions of the actual withdrawal of guerrillas, recognition of Malaysia, and Maphilindo were to be discussed initially at the Ministerial Conferences, and then at the Summit. We might suggest to the Tunku that he confine his demand to a withdrawal of regular Indonesian personnel. We should ask the Attorney General to get some of these thoughts across either to the Malaysian Ambassador here or by letter to the Tunku./4/ He or Governor Harriman might talk to the British and Australians.

/3/Instructions to this end were included in telegram 691 to Kuala Lumpur, February 20. (Ibid.)

/4/Telegram 712 to Kuala Lumpur, February 25, contains the text of a letter (drafted by Forrestal and cleared by Harriman, Hilsman, and Cuthell) from Robert Kennedy to the Tunku. In it Kennedy urged the Tunku to call upon Thailand to put observers into the area, to continue negotiations, and not to take the issue to the United Nations. (Ibid.) Hilsman and Forrestal made similar points to Malaysian Ambassador Ong on February 24. (Telegram 709 to Kuala Lumpur, February 25; ibid.)

Michael V. Forrestal/5/

/5/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.


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

Washington, February 29, 1964, 5:59 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted by Ingraham, cleared by Cuthell, and approved by Green. Also sent to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok and repeated to Manila, London, Canberra, and CINCPAC for POLAD.

938. Djakarta's 1802./2/ On eve Bangkok meeting, prospects major progress not promising in absence any signs acceptable formula on guerrilla question in offing. Seems obvious Indonesians will have to give at least part on this question if meeting not to break down at outset. Main effort all participants obviously must be some forward motion on guerrilla question and at least preliminary discussion other issues to permit negotiations to continue.

/2/In telegram 1802 from Djakarta, February 28, the Embassy reported that there was very little domestic opposition to Sukarno's "crush Malaysia" campaign and that confrontation enjoyed wide support in Indonesia. Still the Indonesian military was anxious to avoid a direct clash with the British and there were no indications of major military preparations in Kalimantan, just stepped up paramilitary operations. The Embassy suggested steps to induce Indonesia to make a 180 degree turn and accept a peaceful settlement. (Ibid.)

For Djakarta: Department concurs approach to Subandrio suggested last three numbered paragraphs reftel./3/ In addition these points, you should also make following:

/3/In these paragraphs of telegram 1802, the Embassy suggested a pre-conference approach to Subandrio to: 1) reaffirm the importance of progress at the Bangkok talks, 2) emphasize the necessity for a further definition of the cease-fire, and 3) urge that Indonesia make known its position on a political settlement at Bangkok, that is "put cards on table and get negotiating process started." (Ibid.)

1. Subandrio must expect and be prepared tackle guerrilla question before going into political matters. Must also be prepared give some ground on this question. GOM knows that most of world will accept logic their position this issue and will have to insist on some rectification to protect their position.

2. Since Attorney General's mission, US has been poised at watershed in relations with Indonesia. Subandrio and Sukarno aware our basic sympathy for Indonesia and our desire to be helpful. Attorney General mission itself ample proof of this. But ball now entirely in Indonesian court. We can be of no further help to them, politically or otherwise, if current cease-fire and talks break down. We now need from Indonesians same degree initiative in moving toward settlement that we took last January. No point asserting that we should put pressure on other side rather than Indonesia. We have already done maximum possible in encouraging others to understand Indonesian position and meet GOI half-way.

For Kuala Lumpur: You should let Razak know we are urging Indonesians (1) to take more responsible position on guerrillas, and (2) to start spelling out what they mean by "sweetening the pill." If Indonesians give any indication at Bangkok that they moving in this direction, we hope he will hear them out fully, explore their proposals and not reject their approaches out of hand. If Indo terms unacceptable, he should either make counter offer or defer discussion to later meeting.

We see minimum objective Bangkok meeting as that of preventing further deterioration and keeping negotiation process going. We recognize that Malaysians, as aggrieved party and with elections coming up, find current situation hard to take. Even though present cease-fire far from satisfactory to Malaysians, however, it is preferable to all-out resumption Indonesian military confrontation--particularly when number of indications suggest time may be working in Malaysia's favor.

Re question Thai observers, we pleased have Razak's assurance (Kuala Lumpur's 773)/4/ that question will be settled prior Bangkok meeting. Leisurely pace and delicate sensitivities demonstrated by Malaysians to date, however, leave impression that they (and perhaps Thais as well) do not really understand why prompt pre-positioning observers so important their position. If you think it will help, suggest you continue express our active interest in getting them moving.

/4/Dated February 28. (Ibid.)

In this connection, we puzzled why Razak feels observers need access Indonesian side border before they can be effective. Understanding on observers was that they are to investigate incidents, which presumably will only occur Malaysian territory. "Seeing what Indonesians up to" is eminently not part their agreed function, and any suggestion it be made part thereof almost sure cause whole observer concept to collapse.

For Bangkok: Suggest you convey to Thanat general outline foregoing prior meeting, emphasizing that minimum objective must be to keep talks going and keep cease-fire reasonably intact. Re his comment that he would welcome any formulae that may occur to us (Bangkok's 1406),/5/ suggest you point out that we feel main thing is to get Indonesians to surface their terms for "sweetening the pill." Once these in sight, we could all start looking for possible formula.

/5/Dated February 29. (Ibid.)

Re Razak compromise language on guerrilla withdrawals (Kuala Lumpur's 773), suggest you mention it to Thanat and suggest he may want discuss it further with Razak. If Thanat thinks any chance Indonesians buying it, he might want to consider tactic of presenting it himself as compromise if Indos reject fifth cease-fire point proposed first Bangkok meeting.



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

Washington, March 3, 1964, 7:44 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA, Secret; Immediate; Limdis. Drafted by Cuthell and Ingraham, cleared by Hilsman, and approved by Harriman.

946. Re Djakarta's 1793, 1802 and 1804;/2/ Kuala Lumpur's 787./3/ Department is aware that Embassy has in past months kept Sukarno and Subandrio well informed as to our views on where Indo foreign policy and economic problems can lead. Net impact of this regular restatement of our position has been disappointing, although Department believes present situation would be worse in absence of pressures from our side.

/2/Regarding telegram 1802, see footnote 2, Document 32. In telegram 1793, February 28, the Embassy alerted the Department to intelligence about Indonesian estimates of British and U.S. intentions toward Malaysia and the aggressiveness of the military officials responsible for Indonesian military operations. In telegram 1804 from Djakarta, February 29, Jones suggested that domestic economic considerations and problems would have very little effect on Sukarno's attitude towards compromise with Malaysia. (Both National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA)

/3/In telegram 787 from Kuala Lumpur, March 3, the Embassy suggested that Sukarno seemed to have a desire to reach a peaceful settlement with Malaysia, but was being inhibited by the PKI and the Indonesian military. The Embassy suggested that Jones and the Department might consider using its relationship with key army leaders to convince them to support a settlement. (Ibid.)

Essence of problem seems to be that Sukarno recognizes our refusal to support confrontation, accepts our statements of support for Malaysia although annoyed by them, and is willing to face possible loss of both current and potential U.S. aid. He seems to discount chances that U.S.-Indo relations can deteriorate to breaking point if GOI presses its quarrel with GOM to stage of open hostility, and in general assumes that he can achieve his objectives by methods including continuing guerrilla action without seriously endangering his international position.

Problem is accentuated by fact, which emerges in above references, that those who are in position to influence Sukarno toward rational foreign and economic policies particularly military, are not doing so.

In case of PKI, it is obviously in commies' interest to encourage present course toward mounting international tension and domestic economic collapse. Department has noted recent reports that PKI has lured Sukarno into agreement that PKI will not play up current economic troubles if Sukarno will keep up active confrontation, but that PKI is at same time pushing campaign against foreign business interests. PKI undoubtedly wants break with U.S. to permit takeover U.S. investments including oil. PKI is thus ready to profit now from confrontation and be ready with plan based on break with West if economic conditions reach crisis stage.

Indo military on other hand, seems to lack understanding of where Indo policy is leading, and fails to recognize that present combination of confrontation and increasing coldness toward West plays only into hands of PKI and other extremists. Since our efforts influence Sukarno directly and via Subandrio have not succeeded in modifying Indonesian policy, Department believes we should now try to build up pressures on Sukarno from Indonesian military sources in favor of rational settlement with Malaysia and decent relations with free world. In view of attitudes described in references, this would seem to require "educational" program aimed at military leaders. Department would not suggest anything which might get back to Sukarno as U.S. campaign against him, but would expect that if situation is effectively and forcefully described, significant number of Indo military who have some ability effect course of events would understand where present course is leading and would try to change or restrain it.

Department has noted Bell's suggestion (Kuala Lumpur's 787) that time has come to draw on relationship we have built up with Indonesian military in effort head off GOI before it too late. This should be done to maximum extent possible in context this "educational" campaign, since our capital with them will be completely expended in any event should Indo actions force us side openly against them.

Appears to Department that Col. Benson and attaches should see Nasution and such other military leaders as they and Ambassador think useful.

Embassy familiar with most appropriate lines to take with each group, i.e., stressing that present situation playing directly into PKI hands, and will be tailoring them to fit individual targets. In addition the obvious points, should try impress upon them the following over-all assessment:

1. If Indo resumes all-out confrontation result can only be (1) complete breach between Indo and free world, with Indo forced either eke out meager existence in isolation or turn as suppliant to Bloc, which would then respond, if at all, with aid designed to help PKI, or (2) growth of internal pressures within Indo of such magnitude as to threaten both present leadership and internal unity. Which- ever one materializes, Indo's prestige and status as nation would be shattered.

2. Indo military must face fact that if they escalate military confrontation they risk war with British, who have capacity knock out Indo offensive ability quickly. Such defeat would end position of control of Indo military leaders.

3. As far as U.S. concerned, we being driven to point at which we recognize growing possibility parting of ways with Indo. For years U.S. Govt has made sustained effort understand Indo aspirations and help attain them. In West Irian case, we went to length of risking strained relations with old and close allies in order encourage peaceful settlement favorable to Indo. Present case bears no relation to West Irian since it involves Indo campaign not against colonial territory to which it has any sort of claim but against sovereign state which U.S. and most of world value as friend. Despite our inability accept Indo position vis-a-vis Malaysia, however, and in face strongly adverse reaction both from U.S. public and from U.S. allies, U.S. Govt has made continuous effort (culminating in Attorney General's mission) to encourage peaceful settlement on terms not adverse to Indo's legitimate interests. Despite this record, we now find U.S. singled out as target by much of Indo press and leadership, and U.S. companies in Indo threatened with seizure or violence. U.S. Govt and people cannot be expected put up with this forever, and must react strongly if our interests damaged by GOI or PKI.

4. Would be naive for Indos to think there are any differences or conflicts in U.S. and UK policies toward Southeast Asia which they can exploit. U.S. and UK are allies. ANZUS Treaty obligations apply if Australian and New Zealand forces involved.

5. In considering implications foregoing, Indos should not be so naive as to think they can find useful alternative support among Western Europeans (French, Dutch), Afro-Asians or Bloc. While certain Western Europeans have pursued policy similar to ours in avoiding taking sides, GOI can be sure none will abandon UK and Malaysia if forced make choice. Nor can real support be found among AA's, most of whom recognize Malaysia, have nothing against British, are preoccupied with own problems and, in any event, have nothing to offer in way tangible support. As far as Bloc concerned, Indos must be aware situation has changed radically since early postwar days of East-West confrontation when foe of one automatically taken up as friend of other.

6. By drying up sources foreign aid and disrupting trade, confrontation has seriously hurt Indo economy and virtually eliminated hopes for economic development in near future. Quite aside from its impact on population as whole, Indo military must realize this directly affects them: However large and well equipped its forces in being, Indo is not and will not be significant military power--able realistically claim capacity to defend country--so long as industrial-technical base to sustain these forces totally absent. At best will take years or decades create this base, but every day confrontation continues pushes that goal farther in future.

Department realizes carrying out foregoing will be delicate task, but believes that time for such an effort has arrived. Request Embassy reaction./4/

/4/In telegram 1832 from Djakarta, March 4, the Embassy agreed with the Department's thinking and reported that Jones had already made an appointment with Nasution and would see Yani and other military figures as appropriate. (Ibid.) In telegram 1854 from Djakarta, March 6, Jones reported on an hour and 10 minute meeting he had with Nasution on the morning of March 6. The discussion suggested to Jones that the Indonesia military were determined to continue confrontation, but not to the point of large scale conflict, were aware of the threat of the PKI, and were unprepared to deal with Indonesia's economic problems. Jones reported that Nasution, "avoided like the plague any discussion of possible military takeover, even though this hovered in the air throughout the talk, and at no time did he pick up obvious hints of US support in time of crisis." (Ibid.)



34. Memorandum for the Record/1/

Washington, March 4, 1964.

/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.

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.

[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.

/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)

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



35. Memorandum From Michael V. Forrestal of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, March 5, 1964.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Malaysia, Vol. I, Memos, 11/63-3/64, Secret.

Indonesia/Malaysia Recapitulation

Herewith a run-down on the last twenty-four hours:

The four Ministers met in Bangkok the day before yesterday for two hours. At the end of the meeting the Malaysians announced that since the Indonesians refused to agree to an effective withdrawal of Indonesian-supported guerrillas in North Borneo, the conferences were terminated.

After desperate efforts by Thanat and Lopez (reported in Bangkok's 1471)/2/ Razak was persuaded to get off the airplane at the Bangkok airport and return to the city, where he is presumably waiting for the next development. No further conferences have been scheduled, although the parties remain in Bangkok.

/2/Dated March 5. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 3 MAPHILINDO)

Yesterday Mr. Renouf, Beale's DCM, came to see me, after having seen the Department, to tell us that Sir Garfield Barwick had told the Tunku he agreed that there could be no meeting of the three Chiefs of State until the Indonesian guerrillas had been withdrawn, and that there was at present no cease-fire. We do not know what advice, if any, the British had given the Tunku before the meeting; but we are trying to find out.

According to Thanat, Subandrio said he was prepared to go along with the principle that guerrillas should be withdrawn, such withdrawal to start as soon as political discussions start, and to be paced according to the progress of the discussions. His position is apparently unacceptable to the Malaysians.

Yesterday the Malaysians issued a communique/3/ which charged Indonesia with breaking the cease-fire arranged by the Attorney General. The communique ended by saying, "Since the cease-fire has been repeatedly violated by the Indonesians, it would be futile to regard the cease-fire as operative." As of the moment, the Malaysians have not yet requested the Thais to send any observers to North Borneo to observe and report on the alleged violations.

/3/The text was transmitted in telegram 1464 from Kuala Lumpur, March 5. (Ibid., POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA)

I have learned this morning that Ambassador Beale has requested an appointment with Governor Harriman for tomorrow (Harriman is in Denver today). We have been told very informally (and this knowledge must be protected) that Beale intends to present an Australian paper on what should be done in the case of an escalation of the dispute between Indonesia and Malaysia.

Comment: It does not seem to me to be in the interest of the United States to see a breakdown of the cease-fire negotiated by the Attorney General, nor to permit our British and Australian friends to believe that we will participate in planning for an escalation of this conflict. I don't understand how we can fail to use every lever at our command to prevent the outbreak of another ugly war behind our backs while we are fighting in South Vietnam. I do not see how we can avoid being drawn into such a conflict in view of our relations with the parties, relations which are based both on politics and, in the case of Australia, on a treaty.

We should also not forget that the Philippine attitude toward our bases there would be equivocal, to say the least if such a conflict started.

In the longer range, I don't see how there is any hope of maintaining a Western presence in Asia if we cannot somehow avoid having one of the three most powerful non-Chinese countries become actively hostile to the West. The surest way to have this happen would be for us to stand idly by and let events take their course. That is what we are now doing.

We should tell the Malaysians, British and Australians that in our view the cease-fire must be maintained, the Thais must be asked to go to North Borneo and the conference should break up in an atmosphere in which another conference is still possible. We should say publicly that we hope the cease-fire will remain in effect./4/

/4/In the margin next to the last paragraph Bundy wrote: "Cuthell."



36. Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

Washington, March 11, 1964.

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Malaysia, Vol. I, Memos, 11/63-3/64. Secret.


We're slowly nursing Indo-Malaysian talks along (with Thai and Phil help), not because of any great optimism but in hopes something may turn up./2/

/2/Reports of the Maphilindo Ministerial meeting and on the respective attitudes of the leaders of the governments participating are in telegrams 1496 from Bangkok, March 6; 795 from Kuala Lumpur, March 6; and 1855 from Djakarta, March 7. (All National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 3 MAPHILINDO)

Indos and Malays still growling at each other, but neither seems disposed yet to make a definite break. I'm fascinated that Indos, though continuing infiltration, seem more defensive and unsure of selves.

Talk now is about Lopez formula: (a) disengagement, i.e. gradual withdrawal; (b) simultaneous renewal political discussions; (c) agreement in principle to Summit after Malaysia 25 April elections. Indos boggling at withdrawal w/o clear understanding Malays will talk; Malays adamant against talking w/o substantial Indo withdrawals.

I'm urging State find quiet ways to clue Indos we're getting fed up, as just about last lever we have on Sukarno (it ain't much). Somehow we haven't gotten through to the Bung that he can no longer count on us. But as long as this pot just simmers, let's not stir it up.



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

Djakarta, March 12, 1964, 4 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret; Limdis. Repeated to Kuala Lumpur.

1890. Deptel 946 sent KL 741,/2/ Embtel 1832.3 Further comments to second reftel follow:

/2/Document 33.

/3/See footnote 4, Document 33.

1. I and other members of my staff in contact with key members GOI and military leaders have for past several months been using most of arguments presented in first reftel and we will continue use them. Difficult to say what effect our argumentation has had. Our representations have not perceptibly succeeded slowing down confrontation. There even may be danger that, given Indo psychology, our showing too much worry about their problems counter-productive. Subandrio recently quipped to diplomatic group in my presence: "Americans are more worried about ceasefire than we are." Nevertheless believe we should continue try deflect them through reminder several adverse consequences their current policies and actions lest they tend brush these under rug.

2. We do not believe that Sukarno either going down road of confrontation alone with support dragging its feet or that he primarily responding to pressure from military or others (although PKI is of course trying its best to push him). Sukarno is calling shots.

3. Re attitude of military, we believe following are salient aspects. Military leaders:

(a) Want to stay ahead of PKI and assert leadership on emotional national issue (remembering they nearly lost leadership to PKI in case West Irian);

(b) Have no intention letting confrontation develop into real war. Even threats resupply to guerrillas probably more for propaganda reasons than otherwise. High ranking officer just last day or two told Col. Benson "They can take care of themselves;"

(c) Think that in carefully muted and orchestrated guerrilla effort (not "all out" confrontation) Indo has winning proposition (we believe that in long run, subject of course to unpredictable actions others, they may be right);

(d) Are prepared to react to PKI moves which they are confident they can handle but have no other plans for taking over and improving nation;

(e) Like civilian leaders, support Sukarno because they feel they have no choice but to keep their position and wait for something to turn up;

(f) Are aware that economic situation is tough but do not believe it involves political risks they cannot contain or that will seriously limit their actions; besides, they themselves as privileged elite do not feel effect and pinch to extent most other Indos do;

(g) Have, together with some civilian leaders, keen recollection way situations have developed in Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba and West Irian and their reading of these situations leads them to believe that advantage lies with guerrillas rather than with defenders. They regard gambles of escalation and economic hardship as minimal and worth taking.

4. Any promotion by us of crisis psychology here in respect to US-Indo relations plays into hands PKI whose objective is to cause rupture there. Granted pressures necessary to attempt to keep Sukarno from running wild, they should be calculated, low-key ones.

5. Specifically on numbered paragraphs of first reftel we offer seriatim following comments;

(1) We should avoid overestimating as well as underestimating effects on Indonesia (as well as on Malaysia) of confrontation. We are not convinced that Indo will be entirely strapped for aid. There have been reports credit offers presently in Indo hands of nearly $500 million (admittedly, mostly for capital projects). Sov $250 million credit of 1960, although earmarked for capital projects, could if USSR agrees be shifted to more pressing Indo needs. Sovs have given no recent indication of any intention to permit significant shift. Japan, Netherlands, Germany and France in descending order have given evidence willingness extend commercial credits which will establish them in potential Indo market. In recent talk here on TV, Sov Amb expanded on availability Sov aid and trade. Thus far Sov aid has been intended and has operated to strengthen GOI and has had little effect on PKI one way or other. Parenthetically there have probably never been more private foreign commercial representatives in Indo than at present time.

(2) Indos aware of risk escalation (which they assume, however, would throw conflict onto world level). Military leaders intend keep operations involving British in low gear and in jungles where they think they can in time win. They think they have initiative and can make it as hot or cold as they want and in this way safeguard against escalation.

(3) We assume these statements envisage major conflict and US involvement, such as meeting ANZUS commitments. Otherwise we believe GOI will try avoid break with us and we think US should also try to avoid break with Indo, unless provocation becomes intolerable.

(4) Indos probably believe and hope US and UK will see situation here in terms their individual interests and that this will work to divide them. We have emphasized, and confident they fully aware of, US commitments to ANZUS.

(5) In addition comment on possible material support above, we assume reluctance by USUN and others to see Malaysia issue thrown into UN indicates some potential A-A and Bloc support for GOI.

(6) With their theories "territorial warfare" Indo leaders probably see situation differently and very likely think that major assault by major power is unlikely because of fear by such power of escalation. In extreme circumstances they also apparently assume that Sov Bloc would come to their assistance. CAS has reports of informal offers of unspecified aid from ChiComs. They aware of and apparently willing take this risk, if forced into it, although will make every effort avoid escalation.

Additional and concluding comments and recommendations:

(a) US objective in Western Pacific of keeping Indo in free world orbit or at least denying area to Bloc seems to us to be overriding consideration in our approach to Malaysia problem, subject only to US policy interest in creation of secure, stable and viable Malaysia.

(b) We would think that reasons which have led US AID complete break with Cambodia despite Sihanouk's provocations would apply in even more important and convincing way in case of Indonesia, up to point of intolerability.

(c) US should insofar as possible avoid quarreling directly with Indo on Malaysia, continue to urge ceasefire and talks seeking political settlement; and preserve US presence Indo.

(d) US should at same time avoid both becoming involved militarily or in being trapped into sponsoring particular compromise or being drawn directly into the negotiating picture in any manner which would give Indos further advantage.

(e) So long as present Malaysian crisis continues, US should, with certain exceptions which are clearly in our interest, respond to Indo requests for additional economic and military assistance with expressions of regret that we must await settlement Malaysian problem (exception to this would be US support for relief of hunger through shipment surplus agricultural products under Titles II and II [III] of PL 480/4/ and, to extent possible, support for civic action and permissible military training).

/4/Public Law 480, Agricultural Trade and Development Assistance Act of 1954 ("Food for Peace"), enacted July 10, 1954, 68 Stat 454. Section II is entitled "Famine Relief and Other Assistance," Section III is "General Provisions."

(f) In tune with many key Indos who would prefer policies more acceptable to us, we should wait with patience and forbearance until new leadership appears.



38. Letter From Secretary of State Rusk to Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Butler/1/

Washington, March 13, 1964.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret. No drafting information appears on the memorandum, but the covering memorandum from Hilsman to Rusk was drafted by Ingraham and cleared in draft with Willis Armstrong (EUR/BNA) and William Buffum (IO/UNP).

Dear Rab:

I appreciate your March 6 letter,/2/ succinctly setting forth the dilemma we all face in trying to ease the situation between Indonesia and Malaysia.

/2/Attached, but not printed. In this letter Butler put forward three possible actions: (1) a Malaysian request, backed by all the Western Powers, for an early meeting of the Security Council; (2) an unmistakable warning from the United States to Sukarno that failure to withdraw Indonesian guerrillas and resume negotiations would entail full U.S. support for Malaysia; or (3) joint representations by such Asian Powers as Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, and others to Indonesia.

Prospects for a negotiated settlement certainly are not particularly bright at the moment, although I do feel there is still a chance that our continued efforts can eventually bridge the gap between them. The second Bangkok meeting was disappointing in many respects. It did, however, produce Lopez' three-point formula which, if the Indonesians can be induced to accept it, may still serve to keep negotiations alive and to lead to the withdrawal of the Indonesian guerrillas. As you know, we have been pressing Sukarno hard to accept this formula. Although the results are still inconclusive, we believe--perhaps over-optimistically--that we can detect some slight movement in the hitherto intransigent Indonesian position. We will continue our efforts.

In this connection, I am happy to see that your efforts to dissuade the Tunku from declaring "general mobilization" have so far been successful. A gesture of this sort could only have exacerbated the situation to Malaysia's disadvantage while adding little to Malaysia's strength. Although the limited call up actually proclaimed by the Malaysians may evoke some noise from Djakarta, it should have considerably less impact than would a general mobilization call.

If our current efforts to make some use of the Lopez formula should fail, a fresh initiative of some sort may be possible to maintain the hope of a peaceful settlement. The precise form such initiative should take, however, will probably have to be determined pretty much on an ad hoc basis in the light of the precise positions of each side at the moment the failure becomes apparent.

It may be, however, that we will eventually be forced to the conclusion that further negotiations between the principals have no chance of success. This could come about if it became certain beyond doubt that Sukarno was unwilling to call off his military confrontation with- out concessions that would threaten Malaysia's basic interests. I do not think we have come to that point yet, however, and I doubt that detailed contingency planning to meet it would be profitable at this stage.

Since the need for a fresh initiative may shortly arise, I have examined with interest the three specific possibilities you suggest.

As you know, we would be reluctant to see the dispute brought before the Security Council at the present moment. Our delegations in New York have examined this possibility and concluded that a referral to Security Council at this time would not be in Malaysia's interest. We by no means preclude resort to the Security Council if all prospects for direct negotiations are foreclosed or if the Indonesians intensify the scale of their military activities, but we doubt that the time is yet ripe for this. I believe that the contingency planning carried out by our delegations in New York will permit us to move into the Security Council with minimum delay once the decision is taken.

As to your second suggestion, you know that we have been putting sustained direct pressure on Sukarno to modify his position. In the process, we have made clear to him that we have reached a watershed in our relations with Indonesia and that the future course of these relations depends on his actions in the dispute. Our aid has already been cut to the point at which it will soon consist of little more than training--actually more beneficial to us in terms of influencing the next generation than it is to Sukarno. He has been put on notice that even this aid may well be cut off unless the situation eases. Beyond this, we have made sure that he is fully aware of the ANZUS implications in the situation.

As you can see, we have in effect already warned Sukarno that the friendship of the United States and any prospect of future support from the United States will be lost to him unless he modifies his position. We will repeat this warning as often as seems useful, and if it fails to move him we will implement it.

As to your third point, there may be merit in examining the possibility of bringing other Asian powers into the scene, either individually or jointly. On the other hand, two of the countries you mentioned--Thailand and the Philippines--are already in the thick of it, and we would not want to supersede their current efforts until they have run their course.

You can be sure that, from our side, we do not wish to see things drift in this dangerous situation. Our officials and yours are in close contact at a number of levels, and we will continue to explore, jointly, every opening we can detect./3/

/3/On March 19 Butler responded to this letter by expressing skepticism about Sukarno's qualified acceptance of the Lopez formula. Butler wondered how the Tunku, who was facing an election, could accept a secret assurance in the face of public Indonesian statements that the cease-fire was over and intensified military operations were about to begin. Butler would not try to influence Malaysia against the formula, but he doubted much would happen until after the Malaysian elections. (Letter from Butler to Rusk, March 19; Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Malaysia, Vol. I, Memos, 11/63-3/64) For a summary of the Lopez formula, see Document 36. Rusk responded to Butler in a March 27 letter basically agreeing with him, but suggesting that Indonesia's internal troubles were best exploited by "continuing to hold open to him the door through which he can beat a diplomatic retreat rather than by shutting it in his face." (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA)

With warm regards,


Dean Rusk/4/

/4/Printed from a copy that indicates Rusk signed the original.


39. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Malaysia/1/

Washington, March 17, 1964, 7:52 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted by Ingraham, cleared with Cuthell, and approved by Green. Also sent to Manila and Bangkok and repeated to Djakarta, London, Canberra, and CINCPAC for POLAD.

794. Djakarta's 1920./2/ Sukarno's conditional acceptance Lopez formula could be significant step in breaking current impasse if all parties prepared follow it up. As we see situation, our immediate objectives are (a) to halt further Indo guerrilla buildup in East Malaysia and to start process of withdrawal, and (b) to provide forum for continuing tripartite talks to fill gap until Malaysian elections and, hopefully, to start preliminary discussion political settlement. Sukarno's agreement seems offer hope of achieving both.

/2/In telegram 1920 from Djakarta, March 17, Jones reported that after a meeting with Subandrio and Sukarno, they agreed to accept the Lopez formula provided all parties agreed that Malaysia was prepared to commence high-level talks on a political settlement when actual disengagement began and would not be rigid on timing for withdrawals. For the time being Indonesia would continue ambassadorial talks with the same understanding on disengagement as would be applied to ministerial talks. Furthermore, there could be no publicity about the Lopez formula agreement. If the Lopez formula was made public, Indonesia would deny it had agreed to it. (Ibid.)

Most obvious hazards in next few days would seem include following: Actual wording of conditions attached to GOI acceptance could deviate so widely from that stated in reftel or could be couched in such offensive language as to preclude Malaysian acceptance. Even if wording follows that specified in reftel, Malaysians may still back off from position stated by Razak in Bangkok or insist on further clarification Indo position. Tunku might also yield to temptation and start crowing publicly about Malaysian victory. Or Lopez could decide cap his success by leaking whole story to press.

We would appreciate posts' suggestions on how best exploit situation and avoid hazards. Not much can be done, of course, until we see what Thanat actually gets from GOI.

One problem to be faced if Indos accept formula is that of publicity. While desirable that Sukarno's strict injunction against publicizing arrangement be observed, record for secrecy in past somewhat similar circumstances very poor. Formal public reference of some sort to effect discussions being resumed would probably be necessary to minimize press speculation when becomes known Ambassadors getting together in Bangkok. Difficult to see how Malaysians could agree to any publicity on talks, however, unless they could tell their people GOI had agreed start withdrawals. Might be possible resolve this problem if Thanat would make brief non-committal public statement along following lines after clearing it with all three principals: "As result diplomatic conversations carried on at second Bangkok meeting, Indos, Malaysians and Phils have agreed take certain measures to relieve tensions in area. Further exploratory talks between Ambassadors of the three countries in Bangkok will be taking place in coming weeks." Would appreciate posts' reactions.

Pending promised GOI message to Thanat, we believe it best not discuss Indo acceptance with anyone except Thanat, UK and Australians. British and Australian Embassies Washington given summary reftel today and will inform their governments we prefer no discussion with GOM or GOP until Indos act.

For Bangkok: Thanat should be given full summary Jones-Sukarno meeting soonest. Should briefly outline what we foresee in way hazards and stimulate his thinking on ways to make most of situation. FYI. One important objective is to keep him actively involved and forestall any tendency phase himself out. End FYI. Should point out that this development obviously supersedes current exchange between Lopez and GOM through RTG on question timing of withdrawals and summit (Bangkok's 1575),/3/ and express hope he can keep this unprofitable exchange from jeopardizing chances of exploiting Indo acceptance Lopez formula.

/3/Dated March 17. (Ibid.)

For Kuala Lumpur and Manila: For time being you should limit selves to telling govts that Ambassador Jones making progress with GOI in terms Lopez formula, that we believe there good possibility of constructive GOI action soon, and that we suggest this be given chance to develop by few days of quiet.



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

Djakarta, March 19, 1964.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret; Limdis; Noforn. Repeated to Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and CINCPAC for POLAD. There was no time of dispatch on the telegram, which was received at the Department of State at 6:59 a.m., March 19.

1943. Embtel 1854./2/ Gen Nasution recently indicated interest in follow-up of talk reported reftel and I spent hour and half with him yesterday morning. Highlights of this conversation follow:

/2/See footnote 4, Document 33.

1. Regardless of how Malaysian dispute develops, Nasution is concerned with preservation long range relationship with US Govt. To that end, he considers it vital for US to maintain some continuing link with Indo army. He recognizes current strains in relationships but armed forces are strongly pro-US and anti-PKI. It is of vital importance to US and to Indonesia that certain programs in support of armed forces continue. Appreciating political limitations we face, he said training of military officers in US and civic action program in Indonesia must continue as investment in future. He felt so strongly about this he asked me if I could arrange to send a personal message from him to Secy Harriman, Gen Maxwell Taylor and Robert Kennedy. I said I would be glad to do so and will transmit message as soon as received.

2. I explained difficulties which faced US in continuing aid to Indonesia and spelled out implications of amendments to aid bill. I pointed out that if Indo army continues to be involved in sponsoring "aggression" in Borneo, it would be next to impossible for US to help, even though we too were concerned about long range relationships.

3. Nasution felt that no real solution to Malaysia dispute was possible within immediate future because of hard positions on both sides. He wants talks to continue because there is always hope that solution will be found but he is not optimistic. He understands Tunku's position ("I have never criticized the Tunku even though I disagree with him," he pointed out) and his political problems. He also indicated frankly that in his view Sukarno needed to continue confrontation policy in order to induce his people to accept hardships of current economic situation. To this I retorted that way to solve economic situation was to end confrontation--economic situation did not have to be "accepted."

4. Expanding on his reasons for pessimism over likelihood of settlement, Nasution said Sukarno was still holding to position that, pursuant to agreement reached in Manila, some form of plebiscite or referendum must be held to confirm public opinion in Sarawak and Sabah favored joining Malaysia. Nasution did not think, even after April election that Tunku would consider this. Therefore, he expected talks to break down, cease fire to break down. If this happened, he would do his utmost to prevent escalation of struggle and believed it could be kept within confines of small guerrilla action. He said he still had officer friends in Malaysian army with whom he was in quiet communication and that they too were anxious to avoid open conflict. I pointed out seriousness of Indo position internationally if "aggression" in form of insertion new guerrillas into Borneo continued, also inconsistency in his expecting US to support Indo army in any way when same army was responsible for these actions. Nasution took me up on word "responsible." He said his govt was responsible for whatever decisions might be made, that army was forced to carry out decisions of govt. He appeared to be saying that time would come when situation might be different and meanwhile it was vital to our mutual interests not to destroy confidence and communication which presently existed between Indo army, particularly, and US army.

5. As to resolution of impasse over Malaysia Nasution thought political changes in either Kuala Lumpur or Djakarta might be required before real solution to Malaysian dispute would be possible. He added caveat which I did not ask him to explain "unless God intervenes."

6. In response my question as to how much control Indo army actually had over guerrillas, Nasution replied, "Complete control over Indo volunteers" but probably very little control over remainder.

7. I asked Nasution whether army would take action against PKI if party attempted exploit current economic difficulties through strikes, riots, etc. He said PKI was still supporting Sukarno and would not go so far as to adopt tactics directed at Sukarno. If PKI did, however, Madiun (1948 crushing of PKI attempted coup) would be mild compared with army crackdown today. He said Sukarno had personally ordered PKI recently to stop aggravating economic difficulties and food situation by exploiting it for propaganda purposes.

8. What about PKI in important executive posts in cabinet, I asked in recent meeting. Following PKI report on seriousness of economic and food situation, Nasution said Sukarno had offered cabinet post to anyone who would guarantee to solve problems. There were no takers. Army was still against PKI in executive cabinet, he said. But important thing was not formal structure of cabinet. Thus Justice Min and Education Min were leftists if not actually PKI members, but neither were in small power group which made decisions. Nasution implied Sukarno's continuing tactic was to subordinate PKI in ways which resulted in dilution PKI influence in conduct of govt.

9. Situation in Sarawak and Sabah, according to Nasution, could be summarized about as follows: There were 1,000 trained guerrillas in area of which one-third were native to area, one-third were youth volunteers from Indo army and veterans. These men were trained to expand their influence so that presumably six to ten times their number could be counted upon./3/

/3/The CIA estimated that there were 400-500 Indonesian reinforcements on the Malaysian Borneo border ready to cross into Malaysia at any time. They estimated that there were 800-870 guerrillas in Borneo and 1,600 Indonesian guerrillas committed to confrontation with Malaysia. (Memorandum from McCafferty to McGeorge Bundy, March 11; Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Indonesia, Vol. IV, Memos, 3/65-9/65)

Col George Benson and Gen Marjadi were present during conversation.



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

Djakarta, April 10, 1964, 11 a.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDO-MALAYSIA. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Bangkok, Canberra, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, London, Singapore, CINCPAC for POLAD, and USUN.

2119. Deptel 1093./2/ I had hour and half talk with Sukarno alone this morning, at least half of time being devoted to discussion of problems connected with possibility of peaceful settlement of Malaysia dispute.

/2/In telegram 1093, April 8, the Department instructed Jones to meet with Sukarno and Subandrio and "steer them back toward tolerable position" by stressing that it seemed that Indonesia had retreated from its acceptance on the Lopez formula; was taking a new hard line on guerrilla withdrawals and, in fact, was intensifying its campaign; and seemed to be trying to force Tunku to accept a summit without prior guerrilla withdrawals. Jones was to state that if Indonesia sincerely wanted a peaceful settlement, it must "(a) cease equivocations and accept Lopez formula in accordance procedure agreed to at March 17 meeting, and (b) call immediate halt to guerrilla reinforcements and terrorist activities." (Ibid.)

Despite absence of Subandrio who was tied up with preparatory AA conference, I decided to make all points in reftel as I concluded I would not have another opportunity until after AA conference. In doing so, however, I told Sukarno I hoped that he and I and Subandrio could hold meeting together in near future to clarify issues in connection this question once and for all.

Sukarno denied flatly that Indos had changed their position since March 17 understanding had been reached (Embtel 1920 to Dept)/3/ except with regard to continuing tripartite talks at Ambassadorial instead Min level. In all other respects he reconfirmed position as reported reftel--indeed I read him excerpt from reftel which he confirmed as representing his attitude. He had reconsidered question of Ambassadorial talks he said because he was convinced they would not get anywhere and he preferred Ministerial talks, although he repeated he was quite prepared to enter summit talks without preparatory talks. I pointed out difficulties of this in view of fact that Tunku could not be expected to enter summit talks unless guerrillas had been withdrawn.

/3/See footnote 2, Document 39.

I felt Ministerial talks would be necessary to accomplish dual purpose of withdrawal of guerrillas and achieving progress toward political formula for settlement. Sukarno indicated he was agreeable to this, "We have not shifted our position," he repeated.

During course of discussion I bore down heavily on Yani's public statement that cease fire means legalization guerrilla pockets and of Indo moves to reinforce Borneo guerrillas and mount terrorist campaign in mainland Malaysia. Sukarno denied flatly that Yani's statement meant what I implied. He said it was simply a matter of semantics and not intention to distort cease fire understanding reached with Attorney General. It was he said simply another way of saying "stand- fast." He then repeated what he understood cease fire to mean: (1) no shooting; (2) standfast; (3) no mopping up; (4) no withdrawal. He admitted cease fire had been only partially successful, then accused British troops of "bestiality, not merely atrocity" in decapitating captured guerrilla by putting rope around his neck attached to a helicopter.

My comment on terrorist campaign in mainland drew fire. Sukarno denied these were Indo guerrillas, said I must remember there were many Malays on mainland whose sympathies did not lie with Malaysia. Then accused British-Malaysians of planning bombings and ambush in south Sulawesi. When I pressed him for evidence, he said GOI had this week arrested two Malaysians in Djakarta who confessed. He assured me with some heat that foreign support of recent troubles in Sulawesi had been established.

Reverting to peaceful settlement of Malaysia dispute, Sukarno said he could not understand why everybody seemed to think that it was so difficult a problem. "The whole mess can be cleared up by one simple act" he said--then referred in general terms to some method of implementing Manila agreement by ascertainment of public opinion in Kalimantan. "My position is clear" Sukarno said, "I prefer Sarawak and Sabah as free nations to join other free nations within framework of Maphilindo" but he insisted "if they stick to Malaysia, if Kalimantan people prefer to join Malaysia, I will also recognize Malaysia." He then repeated earlier statement that said he had felt "insulted and humiliated" over establishment of Malaysia on Sept 16 before the UN survey had been completed. This was "real tearing up of Manila agreement" he said hotly.

In commenting on the Washington-Bangkok feeling that Indos had shifted their position, Sukarno revealed that Gen Yani had had frank talk with Thai General who was here to discuss sending observers to Kalimantan and had outlined Indo position as I had reported it.

At another point, Sukarno revealed his intention to wage vigorous campaign to get second AA conference to condemn Malaysia. I pointed out conference was long way off, probably would not be held until next fall--did he mean he had no intention to reach political settlement in interim? "Tell the Tunku to put a little water in the wine," he said in indicating clearly that he did want a settlement but that as Subandrio had put it, GOM should "sweeten the pill."



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

Washington, April 14, 1964, 7:24 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Ingraham, Ballantyne, and Moscotti, cleared by Cuthell, Barnett, and Frazier Meade (EUR/BNA). Also sent to Kuala Lumpur, Manila also for Bundy, and Bangkok and repeated to London, Canberra, and CINCPAC also for POLAD.

1120. Post-SEATO Ambassadors' meeting in Manila/2/ should provide opportunity for thoroughgoing assessment current status Indonesia-Malaysia dispute, prognosis, and critique our current policies.

/2/The Ninth SEATO Ministerial meeting in Manila was held April 13-15. Secretary Rusk discussed the Indonesia-Malaysia dispute with President Macapagal on April 12 and the Malaysian military situation with British Minister without portfolio, Lord Carrington, on April 13. Accounts of these discussions are in US/MC/4 part IV, April 12, and US/MC/6, part IX, April 13. (Ibid., POL SEATO 3 and POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA, respectively) A complete set of Rusk's memoranda of conversation at the SEATO meeting in Manila is ibid., S/S-Conference Files: Lot 66 D 110, CF 2379.

As Department sees it, present situation approximately as follows:

1. Indonesia: Re immediate situation, Sukarno apparently either (a) believes that he has made offer to Malaysians which should permit resumption negotiations and that ball now in Tunku's court, or (b) has done no such thing but wants us think he has. Thus he has just reiterated to Ambassador Jones his acceptance Lopez formula along lines he agreed to on March 17 and has ended his April 13 speech with call for Tunku reply to his remarks. Discrepancy between his comments and Subandrio's hard line in Bangkok (Bangkok's 1718)/3/ still unexplained. Basic fact is that he has not communicated acceptance to Thanat.

/3/In telegram 1718 from Bangkok, April 8, the Embassy reported that Thanat, after an extended conversation with Subandrio, was convinced that the Indonesians were not prepared to withdraw prior to political talks or a summit; there was no chance of progress until after the elections in Malaysia; and the Indonesians were not going to be pinned down as to interpretations of the Lopez formula. (Ibid., Central Files 1964-66, POL 3 MAPHILINDO)

In wider context, direction Sukarno now heading particularly hard to fathom, perhaps because it reflects uncertainty among Indos themselves. As far as Sukarno has coherent policy, would seem be along lines suggested Deptel 1093 to Djakarta,/4/ i.e. stepped up military and subversive pressure to force early unconditional summit. Still open question what he hopes get from summit, although his comments to Ambassador Jones (Djakarta's 2119)/5/ indicate he still pushing plebiscite, possibly as "face-saver" but possibly also to permit further disruptive tactics in Borneo.

/4/See footnote 2, Document 41.

/5/Document 41.

Meanwhile, all indications are that Indo economy heading toward severe crisis by next fall which could seriously shake even Sukarno regime, hitherto immune to internal economic pressures.

2. Malaysia: All parties to dispute seem to agree no real progress toward settlement possible prior April 25 elections. Meanwhile Tunku's energetic defiance Indonesia, while understandable, not making things any easier. Even after elections little chance Malaysians will be prepared to budge on principle of no negotiations until guerrillas start withdrawing and no summit until they substantially withdrawn. They see nothing to convince them that Indos not bent on implementation "crush Malaysia" policy and are reacting accordingly. Presumably they deriving comfort from obvious plight Indo economy and latest reports Sulawesi dissidence, which they take as strengthening their hopes for removal Indo threat by breakup of Indonesia.

On military side, stepped up Indo guerrilla and terrorist activity is building up pressure for active British-Malaysian retaliation despite damage this could do to Malaysian position before world.

3. Philippines: Since his trip to Indonesia and in atmosphere of increasing domestic criticism for following in wake of Indos, Macapagal has made tangible moves to bring Phil position onto more truly middle ground between prime disputants, establishing space between himself and Sukarno's hard line. While this has had no apparent restraining influence on Sukarno, it has served to improve somewhat GOP relations with Malaysia. Basically, Macapagal has kept Phil policy in harmony with U.S. approach to Sukarno and will be watching for any changes in this respect on our part.

4. United States: Tactics we have used to date--quiet pressure on all sides toward moderation, encouraging negotiations within "Asian" context, continuing but limiting aid to Indo, refraining from taking sides openly despite overwhelming U.S. public sympathy for Malaysia--may have prevented more serious blowup but have not yet brought settlement within sight. Our current efforts revolve around Lopez formula which, despite ambiguities, is only proposal now afloat that promises channel for resumption direct negotiations. Time available to us for generating progress toward settlement, however, is running out. With fiscal year nearing end, Presidential Determination cannot long be withheld. Unless Indos stop escalating guerrilla activities and resume negotiations, will be almost impossible expect decision favorable to Indo.

With foregoing analysis in mind, would be most helpful to Department if Ambassadors could examine situation both from immediate tactical viewpoint and in wider context broad U.S. policy./6/ We must of course take British interests and current intentions into account. Among questions in former category which you might consider are following (list is by no means all-inclusive):

/6/See Document 43.

1. Current efforts to revive negotiations: Does Lopez formula still hold any real promise in getting negotiations resumed? If so, how can we encourage its implementation? If not, are there any alternative ways of getting parties together? Is this desirable objective prior elections or should we sit it out until after April 25?

2. Observers: We continue think it highly desirable get Thai observers deployed soonest. Do Ambassadors agree? What are present prospects getting Thai observers moving, and is there anything we can do speed process? If we must write off Thai observers, are there any other ways by which neutral entities can be placed in position to police ceasefire and build up record Indo violations for possible later use?

3. Phil-Malaysian relations: How can we speed up lagging process of establishing consular relations?

4. Military situation: What is most likely Indo objective in stepping up guerrilla incursions and mainland terrorism, and how much farther do they intend go? How close are British and Malaysians to decision on border-crossing retaliation? How effective are contemplated retaliatory measures likely to be and what would be Indo reaction? Assuming retaliation undesirable, what alternatives have British and Malaysians to discourage Indo buildup? Do we have any remaining leverage that might get Indos to taper off, and if so, how do we apply it?

5. Internal dissidence in Sulawesi: How serious is it and how much will it limit Indo escalation military confrontation? Any chance it spreading other areas? Any indications outside encouragement and support for dissidents?

6. Political settlement: Assuming (a) Sukarno must have some sort "pill-sweetener" and (b) Malaysians cannot accept formal Borneo plebiscite or similar arrangement which would cast their sovereignty or prestige in doubt, is there some middle ground where both could meet if they were brought together? What appear to be rock-bottom Indo conditions for settlement? What are maximum conditions Malaysians could be expected accept?

In addition foregoing tactical questions, we are suggesting Ambassadors also take wider look at current U.S. strategy. You should consider, for example, whether our present policy of active but indirect and relatively disinterested involvement should be continued or whether alternative might better meet our interests. Among possible alternatives are (a) disengagement, tapering off our mediatory efforts, attempting maintain minimum foothold in Indo, and waiting for economic attrition to bring Sukarno to knees; (b) increasing scope of our mediatory efforts, calling plays from quarterback slot rather than sidelines; (c) expending our remaining leverage on all-out effort deflect Sukarno, recognizing that we are out of Indonesia if we fail. This by no means inclusive list. Others, or mix of several, may occur to you. For example, you might consider possibility of encouraging larger role in Indonesia by other countries such as Dutch.



43. Telegram From the Embassy in the Philippines to the Department of State/1/

Manila, April 17, 1964, 6 p.m.

/1/Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964-66, POL 32-1 INDON-MALAYSIA. Secret; Priority; Limdis. Repeated to Djakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Saigon also for Bundy, CINCPAC for POLAD, Canberra, London, and Tokyo.

1609. Reference: Deptel 1605 to Manila./2/ Ambassadors held two meetings, one Wednesday/3/ evening attended by Asst. Secy. Bundy and for a time by Secretary, and second on Thursday morning. Greatly appreciated having ref Deptel which gave central focus to discussions.

/2/Same as telegram 1120 to Djakarta, Document 42.

/3/April 15.

Following is summary of talks as they related to six questions set forth reftel. This not cleared by all participants and they may wish forward comments. Statements attributed to Secretary uncleared by him.

1. Ambs concluded they really don't know at present whether Lopez formula still holds any real promise in getting negotiations resumed. Amb. Jones reported that Sukarno has said he would begin withdrawal his troops with beginning political talks and would continue withdrawal in conformity progress of such talks. Amb. Bell said Malaysians have had no official notification of GOI position. Amb. Jones plans ask Sukarno at meeting scheduled for April 21 whether his March 17 position still stands and if so urge Sukarno to inform Tunku through Thais. Said would be helpful if he could tell Sukarno that Tunku still prepared accept Sukarno interpretation of Lopez formula. Amb. Bell said Tunku had been prepared accept it on March 18 and probably still prepared do so. Outcome Jones meeting with Sukarno on 21st should give some indication whether Lopez formula can be useful.

Prospect for Ministerial meeting seems dim. Best bet probably to try for summit. President Macapagal thinks there some chance for summit meeting after April 25 elections in Malaysia. He regards this as last chance. Appears have some reasons, not fully revealed to us, for believing he can bring it about. Ambs agreed that we should sit it out until after April 25.

2. Ambs not at all sure it continues be highly desirable get Thai observers deployed soonest because: (1) Malaysians and Indonesians have failed agree on any clear terms of reference for the observers; (2) as a result Thais are fed up with the idea of their prospective observer role and apprehensive their friendly relationship with parties concerned could become prejudiced or misunderstood; (3) if Brits are contemplating step-up of their actions to include possible hot pursuit, Thais could be placed in embarrassing position should Indos call upon observers to investigate a British action. One reason for pushing observer idea is to build up evidence against Indos for possible use in case issue brought to UN. Observer citations against Brits would work against us. Moreover, we reluctant have issue brought into UN because desire avoid getting into UN Charter Article 19 matter.

Ambs concluded that while we might be able pressure Thais into taking up observer role, it not worth the political cost in terms our relations with Thais, unless some clearcut advantage to be gained, which doubtful. Ambs thought careful consideration should be given to questions of what would be responsibilities of observers, and what would result from observer system if Brits step up level their activities.

Only possible alternative to Thai observers appeared be Japanese, who have been anxious to play constructive role; but Ambs believe Japanese involvement inadvisable.

3. Ambs reviewed current status of process establishing consular relations between Malaysians and Phils. Agreed Phils wanted to have Consul General level in order carry on diplomatic communications through consular relations, whereas Malaysians desire limit consuls to purely consular functions in order keep pressure on Phils establish normal diplomatic relations. Ambs have no specific recommendation how to speed up process establishing consular relations. Believe we should stand aside and problem will be resolved bilaterally.

4. Re Military Situation. Agreed there certainly is a build-up on Indonesian side of border which is alarming. Some of the Indo regulars are in on Malaysian side. Indos can keep this up indefinitely, and have capability step up considerably. Amb. Jones said he thought Sukarno genuinely wants some kind of settlement and that he does not want to exacerbate already deteriorating relations with U.S. Indonesian intention probably is to put maximum pressure on Malaysians to obtain a face-saving formula for settlement, after which military actions could be terminated and Indos would thereafter pursue their policies in the political domain. Nasution has said Indo objectives re Malaysia are long-term proposition. Regards Malaysia as unnatural structure which will ultimately collapse; but once a settlement of some kind reached, the military phase presumably would be finished at least for time being.

Malaysians and Australians consider very important that Sukarno not gain benefits from aggressive action. They do not believe Indos will step up the level of their action much, even though they unable achieve benefits they contemplate. British view is that Indos should be given "bloody nose." Amb. Jones said Indo military leaders had told him they would do everything possible to avoid escalation. However, Amb. Jones thought Indos would react pretty violently to attacks into Indo territory.

British fear situation approaching point where Communist Chinese cadres will begin coming into Malaysia and taking over guerrilla operations. Perhaps British would like to see military situation escalate to point where would have war and ANZUS commitments could be invoked and burden thus passed to U.S.

Ambs outlined two related conceptions of way British say they see military problem. At border there are a number of main access trails. Guerrillas crossing from Indonesia must use these. Once across into Sarawak, the trails fairly quickly begin to bifurcate and branch out. Therefore essential stop guerrillas as they come across and before they get into belt where trails branch out and enable guerrillas to melt into countryside. Other version is that on Indonesian side there are number of military groups. They have good lateral communications. These groups can carry out feints at various points, while infiltrating group is pushed across elsewhere. What is required, Brits reason, is to break up these bilateral communications, or attack concentrations on Indo side. Amb. Jones said if Brits did that, it would probably mean real war.

5. Amb. Jones said Sukarno convinced British are involved in Sulawesi insurrection. No hard evidence of this, but there has been some recent increase in intensity of uprisings there and some rather sophisticated weapons being used.

6. Re political settlement, collective view was that Sukarno may well be seeking some kind of face-saving settlement. "Pill sweetener" would probably have to be some kind of ascertainment formula. Subandrio has said Indos want a plebiscite. Know they won't win, but this would give them something. Question arose as to why, if Sukarno really wants a political settlement he continues support volunteers and CCO and putting in regulars. Answer may be that this is pressure to get a settlement. Sukarno fears that if he pulls these out, Malaysians would say there is nothing more to talk about.

On Malaysian side, question is what could they give.

British have been against Tunku's trying for political settlement, because they don't think there is anything he could give. British think he might nonetheless give away his shirt if he went to a summit. It is possible that after elections, if Tunku had won by healthy margin, he might feel in strong enough position domestically to give something, perhaps ascertainment. However, a wide margin of victory in elections might have just opposite effect on Tunku, and increased UK and Australian military support might also be a factor.

Ambs concluded that important thing was to get resumption of negotiations, presumably at a summit meeting in Tokyo after Malaysian elections. Question of just what formula might possibly emerge was one which the three Asian nations would have to figure out. Secretary, who was present during discussion of this point, agreed. Observed that Asians might ultimately agree on a "pill sweetener" which to U.S. would look more like a pickle. Secretary said he thought we ought to stay out of this until end of month and see how it goes.

In taking a wider look at current U.S. strategy, Ambs indicated no patience with Indonesian position. However, if Indos really are looking for a face-saving device to end military actions and would plan confine themselves to working out their objectives politically over long term, then we should continue our efforts to channel course of events so that Indos will have no other choice but to adhere to some kind of peaceful formula.

Best chance, perhaps last chance, lies in Macapagal's effort to get a summit at Tokyo after April 25; and this is something we may have to leave pretty much to Macapagal to bring off. We should stay on sidelines and not try to call plays from quarterback slot.

To achieve settlement, it necessary for Malaysians to agree to some kind of formula. Malaysians take position that it must be demonstrated to Sukarno that he can't gain advantage from show of force. Question is, who is going to demonstrate it? U.S. not interested in getting into this. Have hands full in South Vietnam, etc. Secretary observed during first meeting that he had told Barwick we not going to put in boys from Nebraska and Kansas just because Tunku won't go to a meeting. Extremely important that British do not initiate any cross-border actions at this time which would ruin chances for summit. They should continue exercise restraint little while longer until clearly apparent there is no hope of summit and settlement.



 Volume XXVI Index

  Back to top

U.S. Department of State
USA.govU.S. Department of StateUpdates  |   Frequent Questions  |   Contact Us  |   Email this Page  |   Subject Index  |   Search
The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
About state.gov  |   Privacy Notice  |   FOIA  |   Copyright Information  |   Other U.S. Government Information

Published by the U.S. Department of State Website at http://www.state.gov maintained by the Bureau of Public Affairs.