845.5018/59: Telegram

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

553. While the Mission may follow in so far as it considers desirable the phraseology of the Department’s 538 of October 11 [9] in publicizing the facts mentioned therein (reference Mission’s 743 of October 11), the Department intended the material in question as background upon which statements or press items could be built.

It has appeared to the Department that the result, perhaps unintended, of some of the British publicity in India is to shift the blame for the famine, in so far as the public mind is concerned, to alleged indifference on the part of this Government. The material supplied the Mission has been intended for use in correcting any impression that measures designed to prevent or relieve the famine properly rested with this Government or were practical for execution by this Government. The Mission will of course use its discretion in the methods to be adopted.