845.24/367: Telegram

Mr. William Phillips, Personal Representative of President Roosevelt in India, to the Secretary of State

189. In continuation my 179, February 24, 11 a.m. There is considerable reason to believe Government of India may not be entirely receptive to idea of Anglo-American Import Mission unless it is made clear that the group would not concern itself with actual determination of India’s import requirements—a function which Government of India will almost certainly consider as properly its own—but that its function will be to review India’s self determined import needs in light of Anglo-American supply and transport capacity.

If latter is in fact to be function of proposed group, Washington or London would seem better location than New Delhi where it would be more difficult for group to keep abreast of changing situation in United States and Britain.

If it is intended that group should itself determine India’s import needs, the delicate jurisdictional question mentioned in first sentence this message would require very careful handling, and from American point of view it would seem advisable, if possible, that British appear as chief proponent of idea. It is also difficult to see how such a body, necessarily with incomplete background on Indian economy, could draw up a satisfactory survey without relying to such a degree on assistance and advice of Government of India that latter would in effect be so largely responsible for results that value of Anglo-American group’s contribution would be relatively small.