345.1163/93: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

5231. Your 4815, October 29, 7 p.m. With reference to the admission to India of Lutheran missionaries an informal note has been received [Page 214] from the Foreign Office dated yesterday stating that the ban recently imposed by the Government of India was due to the appearance in a publication issued in Philadelphia by the United Lutheran publication house of material constituting anti-British propaganda.59 The publication had been sent to the United Lutheran Church Mission in India and the Government of India felt that this confirmed suspicions they had already felt regarding the attitude of certain Lutheran missionary bodies in America. In consequence, however, of explanations received from His Majesty’s Embassy at Washington, from which it would seem that the bulk of the Lutheran Church in the United States has no connection with the State Lutheran Church in Germany, the Government of India have now agreed to withdraw the general ban on the admission of members of American Lutheran Missionary Societies into India on the understanding that no grounds will be given for suspicion that the Societies are encouraging any anti-British propaganda in connection with their activities in India. The Government of India will proceed forthwith to reconsider the applications of the individual missionaries to whom visas have recently been refused and it is hoped very soon to make known their decision in each case.

  1. According to information furnished subsequently by the Ambassador in the United Kingdom and the Commissioner in India, the offending article was one which appeared in the October 24, 1940, issue of the Lutherischer Herald, entitled “England’s Wars.”