Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Calvin H. Oakes, Assistant to the Adviser on Political Relations ( Murray )

Participants: Mr. William Phillips
Mr. Murray
Mr. Oakes

Mr. Phillips inquired regarding the present status of the UP application for facilities in India which if granted would enable that organization to furnish Indian newspapers with a service competitive to Reuters. Mr. Phillips was informed that the Embassy at London had advised the Department under date of August 27 that the British Government supported the contention of the Government of India that because of lack of telegraph lines and because of security reasons affecting the proposed use of radios, UP’s request for facilities could not be granted.

There was general agreement that the arguments of the Government of India and the British Government were not valid, and Mr. Phillips emphasized that in his opinion the matter should not be dropped. He stated that there was involved far more than the question of whether an individual American news agency should be allowed to function in India. It was in his opinion highly inadvisable that this Government should accept without protest a decision by the British or Indian government, based on arguments which did not appear to us to be sound, that an American organization should be excluded from competition in India with a British rival. The matter was aggravated in the present instance by the fact that the organization in question could render a real service to the many Americans now in India who had been sent there in connection with the common effort which the United States and Great Britain are making against the Axis.

It was decided that, after Mr. Phillips had had an opportunity to hear further from the UP with a view to reclarification of their position in the matter, a further communication should be addressed to the Embassy instructing it to make known to the Foreign Office the attitude of this Government.