123 [Merrell, George R.]: Telegram

The Commissioner in India (Merrell) to the Secretary of State

480. Last night Viceroy gave dinner occasioned by my appointment as Commissioner.10

After dinner he commented with his usual reserve on Wavell plan. He said, however, that he was “working very hard” and that he hoped it would succeed.

As a result of my having said that I would like to be able to keep my Govt confidentially informed as fully as possible of negotiations11 he has arranged for me to consult freely and often with Major Rankin, his assistant private secy, who will remain in New Delhi and will be kept advised of developments.

Sent Dept rptd London.

  1. For documentation regarding this subject, see pp. 255 ff.
  2. With the announcement of the proposals on June 14, Lord Wavell had issued invitations to 21 Indian leaders to meet with him at the Viceregal Lodge at Simla on June 25 for securing agreement on the proposals and on means for their implementation. The Simla talks began on June 25, continued until June 29, adjourned for an interim period, and reconvened and had a final session on July 14, breaking down on the question of the composition and designation of the members of the new Executive Council; during this period the Commissioner was provided with a series of eight notes informing him in detail of the progress of the Conference (845.00/6–2645, /6–2745, /6–2945, /7–445, /7–1145, /7–1645, /7–3145).