862.20290H/9: Telegram

The Minister in Afghanistan (Engert) to the Secretary of State

117. Department’s telegram 63, June 5, 8 p.m.

As the Russian Ambassador has apparently not yet been able to see the Prime Minister and to carry out his instructions referred to in my 113, June 3 it is impossible to form a balanced view of the situation. However, I do not anticipate any necessity for the British and Soviet Governments to oblige the Afghans to close the Axis Legations. I understand the British Minister here is definitely opposed to such a move.
No reply has so far been received regarding “suggestion” that the personnel of Axis Legations be reduced but I believe that if the Afghan Government does not of its own accord and within a reasonable time act on the suggestion a demand to that effect might be formulated.
In view of that possibility and before I communicate to the Afghan Government the view of the Department as expressed in your telegram 63, I would respectfully suggest that you confer with the Foreign Office in London. The British Minister here has been most [Page 40] loyally keeping me informed of his instructions and I assume you would wish to tell London of how you feel about the entire problem. It may serve to influence their policy.
Even if it should become necessary for us to make our position clear to the Afghans, I venture to suggest that the expression “does not associate itself et cetera” be not used either verbally or in writing. I fear it would merely confirm the Afghan Government in the belief fostered by the Axis that serious rifts exist in the Allied front. They would almost certainly exploit it not only in this particular instance but in all future contingencies when the United Nations may find it desirable to act jointly. I believe the independence of our viewpoint has already been amply demonstrated by virtue of the simple fact that we have not either directly or indirectly become involved in the Anglo-Russian representations.