Minutes of the Fourth and Final Conference on Post-War Civil Aviation Held With Representatives of India on August 22, 1944


American Group Indian Group
Mr. A. A. Berle, Jr.96 The Hon. Sir Girja Bajpai4
Mr. S. W. Morgan97 Sir Gurunath Bewoor5
Mr. G. S. Roper98 Sir Frederick Tymms6
Mr. G. V. Allen99 Mr. Humphrey Trevelyan7
Mr. Lampton Berry1
Mr. Josh Lee2
Mr. George Burgess3

Mr. Berle greeted the Indian delegation saying that he was sorry to have been away during the earlier talks. Sir Girja thanked him for the cordial reception and for the competence with which Mr. Morgan had covered the subject in his absence. He said that there were two fundamental points of difference: The first concerned the scope and functions of the international authority and the second, the basis on which civil aviation arrangements should be concluded. The Indians wanted a multilateral arrangement, and the Americans preferred bilateral arrangements.

[Here follows discussion of question relating to the constitution and function of an international air organization.]8

Mr. Morgan asked for the attitude of the Indian Government if we approached it now on the question of a bilateral agreement. Sir Gurunath said that the Indian delegation had come with instructions to explore the possibility of an international arrangement through an international authority and that they were not prepared, without further instructions, to pursue the question of bilateral arrangements. Mr. Berle asked whether the Indians were prepared [Page 292] to discuss an a.i.,9 arrangement such as he had outlined. He said the war in Europe was near an end and that the civil populations would want air services. He asked whether the Indian Government felt that everything should stop short until an international agreement had been reached. Sir Girja replied that he fully agreed that everything could not stop, but that with regard to a bilateral agreement they would have to request further instruction. Sir Gurunath said that they did not want to give the impression of being obstructionists and that they saw the force of our point of view. They would have to give their government some time, however, to consult with their experts. Mr. Berle pointed out that B.O.A.C.10 was making bilateral arrangements, that the Canadians were developing trans-Atlantic traffic and that for many months we had been carrying forward our negotiations with Spain.11 He asked why the Government of India also could not make bilateral arrangements. Sir Gurunath repeated that they had come with instructions to explore only the multi-lateral approach.

Mr. Allen asked whether the arrangements made by K.L.M., Air France etc., were between the Government of India and the commercial companies. Sir Gurunath said they were between Governments. Mr. Allen asked whether these arrangements would continue after the war, and Sir Frederick replied that they could not be changed since the agreements were still in effect. Sir Girja said that the Indian Government could not refuse to consider any proposals made by the United States Government, but that a multilateral agreement was their ultimate desire. Mr. Berle suggested that the bilateral agreements might be drawn in such form that they could be made multilateral later at an international conference.

[Here follows additional discussion on international air questions.]

It was agreed to get together to draft a joint statement to be released to the press.

The meeting terminated with the expression of mutual thanks and cordial esteem.

  1. Adolf A. Berle, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State.
  2. Agent General for India at Washington.
  3. Stokely W. Morgan, Chief of the Aviation Division.
  4. Secretary to the Government of India, Posts and Air Department.
  5. George S. Roper of the Aviation Division.
  6. Director of Civil Aviation for the Government of India.
  7. George V. Allen, Chief of the Division of Middle Eastern Affairs.
  8. First Secretary of the British Embassy, with the Indian Agency General.
  9. Secretary of Mission at New Delhi.
  10. Member of the Civil Aeronautics Board.
  11. Assistant to Mr. William A. M. Burden, Special Aviation Assistant to the Secretary of Commerce (Jones).
  12. For correspondence, see vol. ii , section entitled “Preliminary and exploratory discussions regarding international civil aviation; conference held at Chicago, November 1–December 7, 1944.”
  13. Ad interim.
  14. British Overseas Airways Corporation.
  15. For correspondence regarding this subject, see vol. iv , section under Spain entitled “Air transport service agreement between the United States and Spain.”