Historical Documents

Volumes

Browse by Administration

Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976
Volume E–7, Documents on South Asia, 1969–1972, Document 190


190. Telegram 11410 From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State, December 15, 1971, 1656Z 11. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK. Secret; Priority; Exdis.

  • SUBJECT:
  • UK VIEWS ON INDIA/PAKISTAN

DEC 71

FM AMEMBASSY LONDON

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9648

1)SIR STANLEY TOMLINSON, DEPUTY UNDER SECRETARY, FCO, SUMMONED US LATE DECEMBER 14 TO DISCUSS US AND UK POLICIES ON INDIA-PAKISTAN. MAKING CLEAR THAT HE WAS EXPRESSING VIEWS OF UK GOVT, TOMLINSON LED OFF BY OBSERVING THAT HE HAD BEEN PRIVILEGED DURING HIS CAREER TO PLAY AN ACTIVE PART IN UK-UK RELATIONSHIP AND IT HAD BEEN A REWARDING AND SATISFYING EXPERIENCE TO HIM PERSONALLY THAT THE TWO GOVTS HAD BEEN ABLE TO ACT IN CONCERT AND SHARE A HIGH DEGREE OF MUTUAL CONFIDENCE ON MAJOR ISSUES OVER A LONG PERIOD.· IT WAS A CAUSE FOR-DISAPPOINTMENT AND CONCERN, THEREFORE, TO BRITISH MINISTERS AND OFFICIALS THAT IN RECENT TIMES THERE HAD BEEN MARKED DIFFERENCES BETWEEN US AND UK POLICIES ON SOME IMPORTANT PROBLEMS.

2)SIR STANLEY SAID THE INDIA-PAKISTAN SITUATION HAD RAISED QUESTIONS WITHIN THE UKG AS TO WHETHER THE TWO GOVERNMENTS WERE PROCEEDING ON THE BASIS OF DIFFERENT INTELLIGENCE INFORMATION AND POLITICAL ASSESSMENTS. FURTHER, THE UK FELT THAT IT REALLY DID NOT KNOW THE BASIS FOR US THINKING AND THE OBJECTIVES WE WERE PURSUING. HE SAID HE WOULD LIKE TO INDICATE SOME SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF US POLICY WHICH WERE PUZZLING OR DISTURBING TO THE UK.

3)SUSPENSION OF ECONOMIC AID TO INDIA. TOMLINSON SAID THE UK REGRETTED THAT THE USG HAD THOUGHT IT NECESSARY TO TAKE THAT STEP. HE GATHERED THAT THE RATIONALE BEHIND US ACTION WAS THAT PROVISION OF ECONOMIC AID WHICH MIGHT BE USED TO SUSTAIN THE WAR EFFORT WAS CONTRARY TO PRINCIPLES OF THE AID PROGRAM. WHILE NOT WISHING TO ARGUE THE POINT, THE UK HAD DECIDED NOT TO SUSPEND ITS AID TO INDIA AND HAD HOPED THAT THIS ASPECT OF THE PROBLEM WOULD NOT BE CARRIED FURTHER. THE UK BELIEVED THAT AID POLICY SHOULD CONTINUE TO BE HANDLED THROUGH THE CONSORTIUM, AND HMG HAD NOT ATTEMPTED TO PRESS ITS POINT OF VIEW ON OTHER CONSORTIUM MEMBERS. THE UK WAS DISAPPOINTED, THEREFORE, TO LEARN THAT THE US HAD USED ITS INFLUENCE TO PERSUADE SOME OTHER GOVERNMENTS. SPECIFICALLY JAPAN AND GERMANY, TO ADOPT SIMILAR POSITIONS ON AID TO INDIA.

4)BANGLA DESH ATTITUDES. TOMLINSON SAID HE DID NOT KNOW THE EXTENT OF US CONTACTS OR INFORMATION VIS-A-VIS BANGLA DESH REPRESENTATIVES. BASED ON INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO THEM, UK OFFICIALS WERE CONVINCED THAT BANGLADESH LEADERS WOULD NOT SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE. TOMLINSON OBSERVED THAT THE UKG WAS NOT ITSELF ADVOCATING BANGLA DESH INDEPENDENCE AND THAT A CONFEDERAL ARRANGEMENT OR ANY OTHER SOLUTION WHICH MIGHT BF WORKED OUT BETWEEN WEST AND EAST PAKISTAN WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE TO THE UK, BUT-STARK. REALITY LED THE UK TO CONCLUDE THAT INDEPENDENCE 'WAS INEVITABLE. IF THE US ASSESSED THE SITUATION DIFFERENTLY, THE UK WOULD LIKE VERY MUCH TO KNOW.

5)US VIEWS ON THE POSSIBILITIES OF EARLIER NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND BANGLA DESH REPRESENTATIVES· TOMLINSON NOTED THAT UK OFFICIALS HAD BEEN PUZZLED BY EARLIER STATEMENTS BY HIGH US OFFICIAL TO THE EFFECT THAT THE US BELIEVED NEGOTIATIONS WHICH THE US HAD BEEN TRYING TO FACILITATE BETWEEN PAKISTAN AND BANGLA DESH REPRESENTATIVES COULD HAVE LED TO POSITIVE POLITICAL RESULTS. THE UK WONDERED WHETHER THE US HAD INFORMATION OTHER THAN WHAT HAD BEEN AVAILABLE TO THE UK AT THAT TIME, BECAUSE THE VIEW OF UK OFFICIALS HAD BEEN THAT EVEN IF SUCH TALKS COULD HAVE BEEN ARRANGED THEY HELD OUT LITTLE IF ANY HOPE FOR PROGRESS.

6)WITHDRAWAL OF INDIAN FORCES FROM EAST PAKISTAN. TOMLINSON SAID THE UK WOULD BE GRATEFUL TO LEARN THE BACKGROUND OF US THINKING ON THIS PROPOSAL. IN UK VIEW, MAIN OBJECTIVE NOW IS TO PREVENT MASSACRES OF PAKISTANI FORCES AND BIHARIS IN EAST, AND UK BELIEVES ONLY ORGANIZED FORCE IN EAST CAPABLE OF PREVENTING SUCH HORRORS IS INDIAN ARMY. UK HAS SOUGHT AND RECEIVED ASSURANCES FROM INDIAN GOVT THAT INDIAN FORCES WOULD CONDUCT THEMSELVES IN MANNER TO MINIMIZE LOSS OF LIFE AND ENSURE HUMANE TREATMENT. IN CIRCUMSTANCES, UK BELIEVES IT WOULD BE SERIOUS MISTAKE TO INSIST THAT INDIAN FORCES WITHDRAW IMMEDIATELY, EVEN IF THAT WERE REALISTIC POSSIBILITY.

7)INDIAN INTENTIONS RE TERRITORIAL GAIN. TOMLINSON REITERATED WHAT PRIME MINISTER AND FOREIGN SECRETARY SAID PREVIOUSLY (LONDON 11295), I.E., UK ASSESSMENT IS THAT INDIA DOES NOT HAVE OBJECTIVE OF TERRITORIAL GAINS. HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THERE HAD BEEN SOME EQUIVOCATION ON AZAD KASHMIR BUT BELIEVED THAT STATEMENTS BY PRIMIN GANDHI AND SWARAN SINGH COULD BE TAKEN AT FACE VALUE. UK WONDERED WHETHER US ASSESSMENT DIFFERED.

8)SECURITY COUNCIL, TOMLINSON WENT OVER SAME GROUND AS PRIME MINISTER AND FOREIGN SECRETARY (LONDON 11295) BUT NOTED THAT INFORMATION JUST RECEIVED INDICATED_ POSSIBILITY THAT US MAY NOW BE WILLING TO ACCEPT LANGUAGE ALONG LINES PROPOSED BY UK FOR SC RESOLUTION.

9)COMMENT: IN VIEW CONVERSATION WITH PRIME MINISTER AND FOREIGN SECRETARY DECEMBER 12 AND SUBSEQUENT REMARKS TO US BY FCO JUNlOR MINISTER ROYLE EXPERSSlNG CONCERN ABOUT US-UK COOPERATION ON INDIA-PAKISTAN SITUATION, WE WERE NOT SURPRISED THAT TOMLINSON CALLED US IN FOR CANDID TALK. THERE WAS NO NOTE OF CENSURE IN WHAT HE SAID, BUT RATHER HOPE AND DESIRE THAT THE US AND UK GOVTS COULD FIND WAYS TO SHARE THEIR THINKING MORE FULLY AND WORK IN CLOSER HARMONY.

GP-3 ANNENBERG

1 Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27 INDIA–PAK. Secret; Priority; Exdis.