845.01/153: Telegram

The Personal Representative of the President in India (Johnson) to the Secretary of State

168. Congress decided unanimously Tuesday52 to reject Cripps’ proposals. Keeping his promise to me Nehru advised me of result and I asked the promised time and secrecy before he and Congress President advised Cripps (reference my 156, April 7, 11 a.m.). After conference with Cripps and with his approval, if not quite at his suggestion, I went alone to see Wavell who with Viceroy had blocked Churchill approval of (b) in my 145, April 4, 8 p.m. Wavell at first arbitrarily refused to consider any change in Cripps’ amended proposal, in my opinion because he is tired, discouraged and depressed and hates and distrusts Nehru. With the greatest simplicity and, I hope with tact, I explained setup of our own defense establishment of today and convinced him that His Majesty’s Government had nothing to lose by reversing form of approach. After he got off his high horse Wavell’s approval and cooperation were complete. He phoned Viceroy for appointment and went with me to see him. On Wavell’s recommendation, Viceroy approved and sent for Cripps. Cripps met with three of us and of course heartily approved.

At 7:20 a.m. Tuesday I presented to Nehru personally and not officially my proposed substitute amendment. Later conferred with Congress President. Congress Working Committee has been in almost continuous session since and Wednesday afternoon Nehru wrote and brought to me a letter suggesting a slight rewrite. Cripps made minor suggestions and I presented them to Nehru last night. At Nehru’s request I have asked Cripps to call the Congress President and the engagement is now set for 5:30 today. Both Nehru and Cripps have expressed their appreciation for the revival of the negotiations.

The magic name over here is Roosevelt; the land, the people would follow and love, America.

  1. April 7.