The Adviser on Political Relations (Murray) to Mr. William Phillips, Personal Representative of President Roosevelt to India65

My Dear Mr. Phillips: With reference to the question of United Press facilities in India, the Mission reported on October 7, 1943 that the Far Eastern manager of the United Press, Mr. Morris, had felt that it was inadvisable to make further approaches to the Government of India on this subject pending an intimation from General Auchinleck66 requested by Mr. Morris, as to whether in the General’s opinion the desired facilities could be provided without jeopardizing national security. General Auchinleck recently informed Mr. Morris that he was not in a position to approve the United Press request. Mr. Morris infers that the General’s reply was based on instructions from London.

The Mission reports that it feels that further approaches to the Government of India would be inexpedient at this time unless the efforts of the American Embassy at London meet with some success.

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The United Press case has unfortunately been further prejudiced with the Government of India through an incident which occurred some weeks ago. An American Army periodical in New Delhi, The Round-Up, has been publishing each week a column by Drew Pearson.67 Recently Pearson obtained, by means which have not yet been ascertained, a copy of a letter from John Fischer68 to Leo Crowley69 and quoted in his column those paragraphs critical of the Government of India. (I believe you saw a copy of this letter when in Washington.) Unfortunately the individual in the United Press responsible for sending to The Round-Up extracts from Pearson’s Washington column included in the material sent to New Delhi Fischer’s statements as quoted by Pearson. The Government of India has of course been somewhat outraged that an effort was made to publish this material in India and undoubtedly places much of the blame upon the United Press.

I am inclined to agree, therefore, that further representations by the Mission on behalf of the United Press would not be well received by the Government of India at this time.

Sincerely yours,

Wallace Murray
  1. Addressed to Ambassador Phillips in London, where he was acting temporarily as representative of the Secretary of State at the headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander.
  2. Sir Claude Auchinleck. British Commander in Chief in India.
  3. Drew Pearson, American newspaperman, writer of a syndicated column entitled “The Washington Merry-Go-Round”.
  4. Senior representative in India of the Office of Economic Warfare.
  5. The Administrator, Foreign Economic Administration.