New Guinea: Pacific Snowball

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Just as Indonesia and The Netherlands got to the conference table for some quiet negotiation of their dispute over Dutch New Guinea, warfare flared again along the coast of the humid Pacific island.

Dutch marines discovered a band of 30 In donesians on Waigeo Island off New Guin ea's western tip; the Indonesians aban doned their food and ammunition and fled.

A reconnaissance plane spotted an Indo nesian schooner suspiciously close to New Guinea and chased it away with gunfire.

To the Dutch, Indonesia's activity in the area seemed suspiciously like the prel ude to a full-scale invasion, and they rushed reinforcements to the area. Two destroyers and two submarines sped to ward New Guinea from California and Mexico. KLM diverted passenger jets from the Amsterdam-New York run to fly some 1,500 marines out to the Pacific.

It was a crushing blow to those who had worked for weeks toward a peaceful solu tion to the feud. With onetime U.S. Am bassador to India Ellsworth Bunker sitting in as moderator, Dutch and Indonesian delegates fortnight ago had sat down in a quiet room at a secluded estate outside Washington, fenced for three days about Indonesia's demand for control of what they call West Irian. But the Dutch still insisted on safeguards for the rights of New Guinea's Papuan native population.

Suddenly Indonesia's delegate rose and left for home. It was just part of the dis rupting strategy of Indonesia's President Sukarno, whose military patrols soon be gan prowling New Guinea's coastline again. As for calling off the threat of in vasion, Sukarno chuckled, "Truly, I do not want to stop it, for it is a rolling snowball that will run down everything."