123 Merrell, George R.

Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs (Murray) to the Under Secretary of State (Stettinius)

Mr. Stettinius: We have been giving consideration recently to the status of our diplomatic representation in New Delhi, particularly since the return of Mr. Phillips19 from England and his evident intention of not going back to India.

It seems to me highly desirable that our regular establishment in New Delhi be placed on its own footing, irrespective of the personal representatives of the President who may be sent to India from time to time. Consequently we feel it desirable to accord to Mr. Merrell,20 our senior Foreign Service officer in New Delhi, the rank of Commissioner. This is the title carried by our first representative in New Delhi21 when the Mission was established four years ago and we have learned informally that it would be entirely acceptable to the Government of India. The Chinese representative in New Delhi carries this title at the present time.

The designation of Mr. Merrell as Commissioner would not in any way prevent the President from sending a personal representative to India at any time, with whatever personal rank the President might wish to give him. The situation would be analogous to that in Chungking, where we have an Ambassador in charge of our regular diplomatic establishment and at the same time a personal representative of the President with the rank of Ambassador (General Hurley).22

[Here follows section concerning an attached clipping from a local newspaper.]

You may wish to discuss with the President the subject of the designation of Mr. Merrell as Commissioner,23 as well as the designation of a personal representative of the President in India.

Wallace Murray
  1. Willam Phillips, Personal Representative of the President to India; for documentation regarding the mission of Ambassador Phillips, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. v, pp. 232 ff.
  2. George R. Merrell, Secretary in charge of the American Mission at New Delhi.
  3. Thomas M. Wilson.
  4. Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Hurley; for documentation regarding the Hurley Mission to China, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. vi, pp. 247 ff.
  5. The Secretary of State sent a memorandum to President Roosevelt on January 2, 1945, recommending that Mr. Merrell be designated Commissioner with the rank of Minister. The President returned the memorandum with his approval. (123 Merrell, George R.)