Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

The British Ambassador20 called at his request. I tactfully brought up the matter of India and said that I was not undertaking to make any suggestions or to pass judgment on anything involved, but that I had a feeling that if Gandhi should die during his present fasting there might arise acute conditions which it would be important to foresee and to prepare against, etc. etc. The Ambassador said he appreciated very much what I said and added that according to his information, his Government was giving all phases of the matter the very closest attention.

After again emphasizing my fears of acute conditions arising in India following any sudden or possible death of Gandhi, I raised the question of whether the British would or might find it possible and advisable to consider certain additions to the Cripps proposals of 1941 [1942]. I said that I was not capable of offering any concrete suggestions or implementations with respect to the Cripps proposals, but coming back to my first expression of fear about the dangers which [Page 195] might arise from the sudden death of Gandhi, I wished to emphasize each of these phases very earnestly.

C[ordell] H[ull]
  1. Viscount Halifax.