845.24/512C: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Officer in Charge at New Delhi (Merrell)39

365. Reference Department’s telegram no. 137, March 4, 10 p.m. Please ascertain informally the views of the Government of India with respect to the establishment of informal American-British-Indian collaboration in India in the review of India’s import requirements exclusive of direct military needs. At the present time there is American-Indian collaboration in reviewing India’s requirements from the United States and presumably British-Indian collaboration on requirements from the United Kingdom. In the opinion of this Government it would be desirable to consolidate the existing bilateral procedures into a tripartite arrangement which would provide an overall review of India’s requirements from all sources.

This Government’s position is based upon the premise that United States and United Kingdom programs for exports to India should be integrated to insure the provision of complementary supplies from the two countries and the most efficient utilization of productive facilities [Page 276] in the two countries. A joint review of requirements in India is an essential first step in achieving such integration.

If the Government of India views with favor the suggestion for tripartite review of requirements, this Government will submit to it and the Government of the United Kingdom concrete proposals with respect to the procedures of tripartite collaboration. We have in mind an informal committee composed of American, British, and Indian representatives. The committee would not make its own survey of India’s import requirements but would review the requirements data prepared by the Government of India.

If you or your advisers feel that there are special considerations which should be brought to the Department’s attention before you approach the Government of India, your comments will be welcomed.

  1. Notation on the original by Mr. Elbert G. Mathews of the Division of Exports and Requirements indicated approval by the Army, Office of Lend-Lease Administration (OLLA) and Office of Economic Warfare (OEW) at a meeting of the India Area Committee on August 9, 1943.