CURRENT INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN - 1955/02/16

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Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
03157419
Release Decision: 
RIPPUB
Original Classification: 
U
Document Page Count: 
7
Document Creation Date: 
September 20, 2019
Document Release Date: 
September 26, 2019
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Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
February 16, 1955
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PDF icon CURRENT INTELLIGENCE BULL[15722814].pdf257.41 KB
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for Release: 2016/09/17 C03157419r TOP 'GREY' 16 February 1955 Copy No. 88 CURRENT INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN DOCUMENT NO 24 NO CHANGE IN CLASS, pt, El DECLASSIFIED CLASS. CHANGED TO: TS S C NEXT REVIEW DATE: -(:) t AUTH: HR 70-2 DATE: 118 1;140 REVIEWEF Office of Current Intelligence CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY T.(377-SE.1C4_3.5.r / Approved for Release: 2019/09/17 C03157419 TV-% D crtintfc Approved for Release: 2019/09/17 C03157419 Noe *up, SUMMARY SOUTHEAST ASIA 1. Indonesian army factions reported to have reached agreement (page 3). 2. USSR still interested in purchasing Burmese rice (page 3). NEAR EAST - AFRICA 3. Arab League politics may prevent Jordan from accepting Johnston proposals (page 4). 4. French Foreign Ministry criticizes Iraqi-Turkish treaty plans (page 5). 5. Prime Minister Sharett's policy receiving more support in Israel (page 6). LATIN A:MERICA 6. Comment on reported split in British Guiana People's Progressive Party (page 6). * * * * 16 Feb 55 CURRENT INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN Page 2 'Ff4/2FT Approved for Release: 2019/09/17 C03157419 TOP SFeR ET- Approved for Release: 2019/09/17 C03157419 'rue SOUTHEAST ASIA 1. Indonesian army factions reported to have reached agreement: The two principal Indonesian army fac- tions, the "pro- and anti-17 October groups," have reached agreement, ac- cording to Colonel Kawilarang, West ava army commander. The agreement, which will be made public after 17 February, will enable the army to present a united front against political pressure. Kawilarang stated that if the forthcoming elections are not conducted honestly, the army would feel justified in taking action to remove fraudulently elected poli- ticians. The American ambassador in Djakarta comments that if Kawilarang is not being overly optimistic, the agreement among military commanders to guarantee honest elec- tions is an encouraging sign that the long-delayed general elections will be held this summer. Comment: The two army factions re- sulted from an incident on 17 October 1952. This incident was engineered by professionally trained, anti-Communist army officers who resented political interference in military affairs. There have been other recent reports indicating interest in the development of army unity. The anti-17 October group, however, has heretofore exhibited opportunistic tendencies which the pro-Communist defense minister has exploited. 2. USSR still interested in purchasing Burmese rice: ov zureign Lraae minister had again expressed his "sincere desire" to con- clude a rice deal as soon as possible. tated that since the questions of price and quantity had already been settled, adequate assurances on qual- ity remained the only problem to be resolved. He did not consider 16 Feb 55 CURRENT INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN Page 3 EGRET --Approved for Release: 2019/09/17 003157419 " ei Midrrerc Approved for Release: 2019/09/17 C03157419 Noe Noe this obstacle insurmountable as his government was prepared to suggest alternatives to an earlier demand that the rice be fumi- gated. Comment: The Burmese broke off nego- tiations in early February because of what they considered impos- sible demands regarding quality. They had been led to believe that Moscow was eager to purchase a :large quantity of rice as well as to conclude a trade agreement. They were therefore deeply of- fended by the unexpected, though typical, hard bargaining tactics of the Soviet negotiators. This new approach, however, indicates that the USSR still desires--apparently for political reasons--to develop economic relations with Burma. The Burmese trade delegation left Moscow on 3 February to initiate trade negotiations with the USSR's Euro- pean Satellites. Although negotiations in Warsaw apparently had negative results, Czechoslovakia announced on 14 February the signing of a long-term trade agreement calling for the exchange of machinery and light industrial products for Burmese rice, fod- der and raw materials. NEAR EAST - AFRICA 3. Arab League politics may prevent Jordan from accepting Johnston proposals: Ambassador Johnston, now concluding his discussions with the Arab states and Israel regarding Jordan River development plans, reports that Arab League politics have ma e difficult or Jordan to take favorable action on his proposals. Johnston states that the cordial atmosphere which greeted him in Amman had raised his hope for Jordanian ac- ceptance of his proposals. This would encourage agreement by Syria and Lebanon. Lebanon urged Jordan to take no action, how- ever, until Arab representatives reassembled in Beirut about 18 February to consider the final Arab position on the Jordan River proposals. 16 Feb 55 CURRENT INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN Page 4 rrnP T1iQ.PPT Approved for Release: 2019/09/17 C03157419 -1-n err, lesp-r1 Approved for Release: 2019/09/17 C03157419 'Noe Comment: Ambassador Johnston visited the Near East in late 1953 and mia-1954 in an effort to obtain agree- ment on the same plan. On the present trip he has had discussions in Tel Aviv, Cairo, and Amman. He will continue his talks in Damascus and Beirut. The prospects for achieving a compromise agreement at this time are not bright, despite both Arab and Israeli reluctance to assume the onus for failure of the negotiations. 4. French Foreign Ministry criticizes Iraqi-Turkish treaty plans: In answer to a question by the American embassy, a high French Foreign Ministry spokesman replied on 14 February that the proposed Iraqi-Turkish treaty, while n e "rig tdirection" of collective security in the Middle East, is not necessarily the "right move." The spokesman cited the re- newed arms race between Israel and the Arab states, Arab discord which the treaty has already produced, and French fears of Iraq's intentions toward Syria. Comment: Though not opposed to the "northern tier" approach to Middai East defense, the French be- lieve that the United States and Britain, but not France, may be Invited to participate in the proposed Iraqi-Turkish treaty. They also resent that they were not consulted early in the treaty nego- tiations. France fears that its position in Syria is being undermined. In addition, it fears that Egyptian hostility to the treaty may result in a renewed Arab at- tack on its position in North Africa. French insistence on joining the treaty would probably provoke strong Arab, particularly Iraqi, opposi- tion. 16 Feb 55 CURRENT INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN Page 5 T eprT Approved for Release: 2019/09/17 C03157419 TOP SEC-RET Approved for Release: 2019/09/17 C03157419 None 5. Prime Minister Sharett's policy receiving more support in Israel: The American embassy in Tel Aviv reports that both former premier Ben-Gurion and some critics within the cabinet appear for the time being to be backing Prime Minis- ter Sharett's foreign policy of restraint and bassy also believes that Mapai, the dominant political party, will continue to support Sharett. This development has left Defense Minister Lavon and the extremists "out on a limb." Comment: This is the first report that Ben-Gurion has shifted his backing from the aggressive approach of Lavon to Sharett's policy of diplomatic action. Even though at present there appears to be a closing of ranks behind Sharett, popular support for a tough line and considerable army opposition to the current moderate policy´┐Ż remain, Moreover, Ben-Gurion is realistic and may be expected to support aggressive action should he consider it necessary. LATIN AMERICA 6. Comment on reported split in British Guiana People's Progressive Party: The reported demotion of Communists Cheddi and Janet Jagan from official top leadership of the People's Progressive Party in British Guiana offers little en- couragement to Britain's hopes for an end to the political stalemate in the colony and a return to gradual political development. The party, whose activities caused London to suspend the British Guiana constitution in October 1953, remains the only effective one in the colony. This is due mainly to the con- tinued apathy of moderate elements. British officials have long regarded Lyndon Burnham, the newly elected party leader, as possibly even more 16 Feb 55 CURRENT INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN Page 6 TO RET Approved for Release: 2019/09/17 003157419 'T'ap1 n Approved for Release: 2019/09/17 C03157419 Noe - *of dangerous to British interests than the Jagans, who will presum- ably retain a measure of influence in the party despite their demo- tion. In addition, support of Burnham by East Indians in the party executive suggests that the People's Progressive Party's appeal to all racial groups in British Guiana remains unimpaired. 16 Feb 55 CURRENT INTELLIGENCE BULLETIN Page 7 Tr) cRFT Approved for Release: 2019/09/17 C03157419