150 Barred Zones/42: Telegram
The Secretary in Charge at New Delhi (Merrell) to the Secretary of State
[Received February 26—8:48 a.m.]
140. Press report from Washington dated February 22 states that the State and Justice Departments are now preparing opinions for Congress regarding bills on the immigration and naturalization of Indians.
In this connection the Department may wish to learn that in a conversation on February 23 of the Planning and Development Member of the Government of India83 on the one hand and Charles Remer84 of the Department and Mills85 of this Mission on the other, Dalai countered a suggestion that some of India’s postwar trade plans might conflict with reciprocity by stating that there could be no talk of reciprocity as long as Indians could not even enter the United States because of our immigration laws. Action on the immigration bill may therefore have an important bearing on our future trade relations with India.
[For a letter of March 5 from President Roosevelt to the Chairman of the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, House of Representatives (Dickstein), in support of proposals for the removal of discriminatory provisions against East Indians in the immigration and nationality laws of the United States, see Congressional Record, volume 91, part 7, page 9523.]