124.45/69

The Secretary of State to the British Chargé (Campbell)

The Secretary of State presents his compliments to the British Chargé d’Affaires ad interim and refers to an aide-mémoire dated August 6, 1943, which was left with Mr. Berle, Assistant Secretary [Page 244]of State, by the British Chargé d’Affaires ad interim on August 18, 1943. The aide-mémoire indicates that some uncertainty exists on the part of the United Kingdom Government and on the part of the Government of India with regard to the manner in which American official representation in India is organized, and to whom certain recently appointed officials are responsible. Several queries are posed in that connection, and it would appear that a reply to the fourth is most essential for clarification of the points at issue. The fourth query involves matters which are still a subject of discussion between the Department of State and the War Department, and it is therefore not possible to provide the Embassy with a definitive reply at the moment. Every effort will be made, however, to furnish at the earliest possible date the information desired.

It may be said that in general the Department of State does not view with favor any arrangement whereby the representatives of this Government will act in India in a dual capacity. It is contemplated that representatives of the Office of Strategic Services, those representatives of the Office of Economic Warfare engaged in economic intelligence, and those representatives of the Office of War Information engaged in psychological warfare activities, will be subordinate to the authority of the senior American military commander in India, rather than to that of the Mission.

It may be mentioned that it is obvious that at the present time two American representatives in India are functioning to a certain extent in a dual capacity. These representatives are Mr. Ralph Block, who has been designated Special Assistant to the Personal Representative of the President and who in his capacity as senior Office of War Information representative is considered to have supervisory powers over all Office of War Information personnel in India, including those comprising the psychological warfare unit; and Mr. John Fischer, who has also been designated Special Assistant to the Personal Representative of the President and who in his capacity as senior Office of Economic Warfare representative is considered to have supervisory powers over all Office of Economic Warfare personnel in India, including those engaged in economic intelligence. The Department would welcome an indication of the Embassy’s views regarding the acceptability, under the circumstances, of this arrangement.

Queries 1, 2 and 3 are answered seriatim:

(1)
The New Delhi headquarters of General Stilwell and the American Mission are separate establishments entirely independent one of the other. Accordingly the suggestion that General Stilwell is technically in charge of the American Mission is erroneous.
(2)
Mr. John Davies, a Foreign Service officer, has been attached to the staff of General Stilwell with a view to his providing the latter with such advice and assistance on matters of a political nature affecting military affairs as may be desired. Mr. Davies is Second Secretary [Page 245]of the American Embassy at Chungking and has no direct relationship with the American Mission at New Delhi.
(3)
In the absence of the Personal Representative of the President, Mr. Merrell will continue in charge of the American Mission at New Delhi in so long as he remains the senior Foreign Service officer at that post.

As previously intimated, the Embassy may expect in the near future a note discussing in greater detail the points raised in query 4 of its aide-mémoire. It would be helpful, however, if there were first received by the Department an expression of the Embassy’s views regarding Mr. Block’s and Mr. Fischer’s status as discussed earlier in this note.