741.45/12

Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Roosevelt

With reference to the attached communication of August 7 to you from Mr. Attlee,45 you and other officials of this Government during [Page 722]past months earnestly laid before Prime Minister Churchill and other British officials the unequivocal attitude of yourself in favor of an adjustment on a basis that could and should be mutually agreed upon in the relations between the home Government of Great Britain and either officials or certain political leaders headed by Mr. Gandhi in India.

In addition to your plain statements to Mr. Churchill to the foregoing effect, I on one or two occasions, and I think it was two, brought up the whole question of concessions and further adjustments on a mutually agreed upon basis, with Ambassador Halifax. As early as six months ago further earnest efforts on the part of your personal representative in India, Col. Louis Johnson, were made in support of a mutually satisfactory settlement. Our attitude has not been one of partisanship toward either contender, and of course it is not today. In these circumstances, there is scarcely more to add in relation to the accompanying document.

It would seem that if the British Government would repeat with full emphasis its proposal of independence to India at the end of the war, and accompany it by a statement of the adjustments to be made prior to the announcement of independence, including some reference to the equal interest of India with the twenty-eight nations in resisting the Axis powers, it would clarify public opinion and might lead to the resumption of discussions between Great Britain and the Indian leaders. In any event, it ought to have the effect of reducing the feeling of tension in India. You, of course, and all of us, are closely observing to find any way that is at all feasible and acceptable to further encourage and promote a mutually satisfactory settlement.

  1. Ante, p. 703.