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242 Cablegram from Furlonger to Department of External Affairs

Jakarta, 15 January 1953

29. CONFIDENTIAL

Colombo Plan

The Acting Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sudjono, told me on 15th January that the procedure for formally advising member Governments of Indonesian decision was still under consideration.1 Advice would be sent 'as soon as possible'. Meanwhile it had not been possible to give much thought to the question of what specific aid Indonesia would like to get.

2. Sudjono, last week, told the British Counsellor that in the Government's view, recent decisions did not require Parliamentary ratification, although Parliament would be given the opportunity of discussing it. No definite date for-debate as yet been fixed.

3. Indonesia's failure thus far to follow up the Colombo Plan decisions arises partly from slowness of the administrative machinery and the Government's pre-occupation with urgent internal issues. A further contributing factor is the fact that the timing of the recent announcement was largely political in purpose: with the approaching conclusion of the T.C.A. Agreement with the United States (which has since been signed) it was considered advisable simultaneously to announce the intention to join the Colombo Plan, so as to avoid charges of a pro-American orientation of policy. Because of these various factors, public announcement was made before the Government had clarified its ideas as to what exactly is wanted from Colombo Plan membership.

[NAA: A1838, 3034/10/15 part 2]

1 A cablegram from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta dated 8 January 1953, explained that Indonesia had not yet decided what procedure to adopt for advising member nations of their decision to join the Colombo Plan. One possibility was that India (as the next host of the Consultative Committee meeting) would formally advise other governments. The Embassy concluded: 'We understand the Government's decision will be discussed in Parliament possibly next week. The general expectation here is that while there may be some criticism, decision will not meet with serious opposition'.

Last Updated: 10 January 2017

Category: International relations

Topic: History