845.01/239: Telegram

The Officer in Charge at New Delhi (Merrell) to the Secretary of State

674. Since Gandhi now in jail there is no means of delivering President’s letter to him except through Government of India channels (reference Department’s instruction No. 38, August 551). Even if that means were employed there would probably be no way of knowing whether letter actually reached its destination. In addition, any approach to Government would probably develop the fact that President’s letter is in reply to one from Gandhi and Government would naturally wonder, and perhaps inquire, how latter was despatched from India without censorship. I accordingly suggest that letter be kept in confidential files of this office or alternatively if Department so desires, transmitted through Consul in Madras to Rajagopalachari, the only important Congress leader not in jail.52

  1. Ante, p. 702.
  2. The Officer in Charge at New Delhi was instructed by telegram No. 505, September 12, 4 p.m., to retain letter until it could be delivered to addressee and then to ask instructions.