845.01/158: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Matthews) to the Secretary of State

1721. Personal for the President from Hopkins.49 There is an unfortunate impression here that Louis Johnson is acting as your personal representative and under your instructions mediating between the British and the Indian Congress. Within the past few hours Cripps apparently in cooperation with Johnson has submitted a new proposal relative to the control of defenses in India. This proposal was made to the Indian Congress without consultation with the Governor General or with Wavell and with no knowledge of the British Government here. I have a feeling that Cripps very naturally is using Johnson who in turn uses your name very freely. I have told the Prime Minister and Eden50 that Johnson is not acting as a mediator on your behalf but whatever he is doing he is doing at the specific request of Cripps.

The Governor General of India has the distinct feeling that all of Johnson’s moves are being directed by you. I believe it important that Johnson’s part in this be played down because of the danger of a proposal being made to the British Government which they might reject and which the public might think comes from you. I lunched with Eden today and he is not too encouraged about the outcome in India but it may break favorably before the day is over. I am seeing the Prime Minister again at 6 o’clock and will cable you the latest [Page 630] news at once. I have found Eden and Lyttelton51 very sympathetic today to our main proposal. [Hopkins.]

  1. Harry L. Hopkins, Special Assistant to the President, on special mission at this time in the United Kingdom.
  2. Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  3. Sir Oliver Lyttelton, British Minister of Production.