The Chargé in India ( Merrell ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 8:50 p.m.]
340. Government of India press note announces Tibet has agreed to transportation through its territory of non-military supplies for China.[Page 630]
Chinese representatives here were not aware that these arrangements had been concluded until press article appeared, and they believe Chungking was similarly uninformed. They have subsequently been told that Government of India pressed Tibet to act favorably on this long standing question on grounds that continued refusal would lead to serious deterioration in relations between Tibet and China. Tibet finally agreed but only on condition that (1) no military supplies of any sort be thus transported; and (2) no foreign supervision of shipments while in Tibet would be permitted. It accordingly does not appear likely that Lend-Lease goods will be shipped from India to China via Tibet. In opinion Chinese officers here, the route with annual capacity estimated at from 1 to 3000 tons will probably be used only for Chinese civilian supplies purchased in India.
Repeated to Chungking with request Bowles be informed.