The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Halifax)
The Secretary of State presents his compliments to His Excellency the British Ambassador and has the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the Embassy’s aide-mémoire of April 17, 1941, advising the Department that His Majesty’s Government is proposing to attach to the British Embassy in Washington an Indian official with the rank of Minister to be designated Agent General for India if the Government of the United States has no objection to that title.
The Secretary of State entertains no objections to the assignment of such an official with the rank of Minister to be designated by the title of Agent General for India in the United States and perceives in the proposal of His Majesty’s Government a recognition of the need for the establishment of an adequate basis for the effective representation of the interests of the Government of India in the United States and of the Government of the United States of America in India.
The desirability of establishing such a basis of representation is illustrated particularly by the present inadequacy of American representation in India occasioned by the unwillingness of the Government of India to permit representatives of the Government of the United States to reside or to maintain offices in the capital city of Delhi, [Page 171] which is approximately one thousand miles distant from Calcutta, where the principal American consular officer in India is stationed. American representatives so distinctly removed from the seat of government at Delhi experience numerous and prolonged delays in the transaction of official business as a result of the necessity of relying primarily upon the use of the mails in the conduct of their relations with the Government of India. At this time when India is assuming a position of increasing importance as a source of materials essential to the implementation of the coordinated programs of the Government of the United States for national defense and the extension of aid to the British Empire, it is considered a matter of regret that delays of this character should occur. In view of existing policies of close cooperation between the Government of the United States and his Majesty’s Government, it appears to be obviously in the mutual interest of both governments to consider means of providing facilities for the establishment of closer personal relationships between representatives of the Government of the United States in India and officials of the Government of India.
The Secretary of State, therefore, proposes that an American Foreign Service Officer with the rank of Minister, to be designated by the title of either Commissioner or Diplomatic Agent of the United States of America, be permitted, together with secretarial and clerical members of his staff, to reside and maintain offices in Delhi.