The Secretary of State to the British Ambassador (Halifax)44

Excellency: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note of October 28, 1945 informing me that the British Government desires to obtain the consent of the United States Government to raising the status of the Agent General for India in Washington to that of a fully accredited Minister. It is noted that a similar approach has been made to the Government pf China regarding the status of the representative of India at Chungking.

During the discussions in 1941 between the British and American Governments which resulted in the exchange of the present type of representation between the Governments of the United States and India, it was felt that Agent General, Commissioner, or Diplomatic Agent were the designations most appropriate to India’s constitutional status at that time. As it is understood that steps are now about to be taken in India for the purpose of revising India’s constitutional position, this Government believes that it would be preferable to postpone a decision on the question raised in your note under acknowledgment pending the outcome of these developments.

Meanwhile, this Government would be pleased, if the Government of India so desires, to accord to the representatives of that Government in the United States, on a reciprocal basis, the status of a Commissioner or Diplomatic Agent with the privilege of maintaining his own separate diplomatic establishment. In such case he would be given a position in the diplomatic corps immediately above chargé d’affaires.

Accept [etc.]

James F. Byrnes
  1. The substance of this note was conveyed to the Commissioner in India (Merrell) in telegram 869, November 7, 8 p.m., and repeated to the Chargé in China (Robertson) in telegram 1808, November 7, 8 p.m., with request that the appropriate Chinese authorities be informally apprised of its contents.