862.20290H/10: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

3716. Your 3953, June 11. Please give the Foreign Office an aide-mémoire in the following sense:

“The United States Government is glad to learn, from its Minister in Kabul and from the British Government’s aide-mémoire of June 11, 1943 that there is reason to believe that the Afghan Government will take satisfactory measures to control the activities of Axis agents in its territories as a result of the démarche already made and without the taking of steps by the British and Soviet Governments with which this Government could not associate itself. The American Minister at Kabul has accordingly been instructed53 that he need take no action for the present.

“While it is appreciated that the British Minister at Kabul advised his American colleague of the action determined upon by the British and Russian Governments, the information thus supplied did not provide this Government with an opportunity to express its views until the British demands and suggestions had already been placed before the Afghan Government. Embarrassment might well be avoided in the future should the British Government consult the United States Government at an earlier stage with respect to courses of action of this character which it may contemplate.

“The United States Government has noted with some surprise the statement in the British Government’s aide-mémoire that the threat to the security of the Afghan-Indian and Afghan-Russian frontiers did not appear to affect the interests of the United States. It is felt that in making this statement the British Government has failed to give due consideration to the indivisibility of the United Nations’ war effort. As the British Government is of course aware, the United States Government has a very strong interest in the effective implementation of that global effort, in the Near East as elsewhere, along lines designed to promote stability and to minimize the chance of disturbances in areas now relatively quiet, disturbances which could [Page 44] not fail to divert substantial United Nations forces from their primary objective of engaging the enemy. The present case will have served a useful purpose if it assists in making this clear.”

Repeat your 3953 and this message to Kabul.

  1. Telegram No. 68, June 16, 7 p.m., infra.