The Secretary of State to the Secretary in Charge at New Delhi (Merrell)

No. 265

The Secretary of State refers to despatch no. 1034 from the American Consul at Karachi, dated December 27, 1944,31 a copy of which was transmitted to the Mission by the Consulate, concerning the transmission of publications requested by the Library of Congress. Particular reference is made to the statement that the Consulate frequently receives letters from the Punjab Government suggesting that future communications from the Consulate to the Government be routed through the External Affairs Department of the Government of India in New Delhi.

The Mission is requested to bring to the attention of the Government of India the fact that consular officers are permitted and expected, under international practice, to correspond directly with the local authorities of any of the states, principalities, or political subdivisions within their accepted consular district. The district covered by the American Consulate at Karachi includes the Punjab governor’s province. The American Government perceives no basis for any hesitation on the part of the Government of the province to receive correspondence [Page 258]directly from the American consul at Karachi and to reply to him direct.

The Mission is requested to pursue this matter energetically with the Government of India in order that a clear understanding may be reached with regard to the correspondence between all American consular posts in India and the local authorities within their district. In view of the frequent delays which have been experienced in connection with the general subject of rights and privileges in India, the Mission should press for a prompt answer, should keep the matter active, and should keep the Department informed at all times of the steps which are taken to reach a solution.

  1. Not printed.