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Memorandum of Conversation, by the Acting Secretary of State

The Indian Agent General, Sir Girja Bajpai, called on me today at his request after I had failed to see him yesterday afternoon owing to my long conference at the White House and said he had two matters to take up with me.

[Here follows brief reference to the subject of food and agriculture.]

Second, the Agent General spoke of the Indian Immigration and Naturalization Bill which he had learned had been tabled in the House Committee. He spoke at great length of the importance of this legislation from the point of view of the reputation in India of the United States and the very favorable effect on public opinion in his country which the passage of the bill would bring about. He showed me a Reuters88 telegram setting forth the sorrow of the Indian people at the news that the bill had been tabled. He said he felt that a technical mistake had been made in not having the bill considered by the Senate before the House, as he throught that favorable action would have been more readily obtained in the Senate.

I said to the Agent General that that of course is a domestic matter which I did not wish to discuss with him. So far as the bill itself goes, I said that he did not need to persuade me of its merits because it had my complete sympathy and I could assure him that I had done and would do everything in my power to obtain early favorable action. The fact that the bill had been tabled does not mean at all that it is dead and it can be brought out at any time by a vote of the Committee. The Agent General asked me whether it would not be well for him to take the matter up with the President, who had been very sympathetic [Page 286] to him since his arrival in our country. I said that I could tell him confidentially that I had written to the President about this matter only last evening and had made my recommendations, so he has the whole story before him, and I therefore did not think that anything would be gained by the Agent General asking for an appointment. I said that I would follow the matter closely and would be glad to call the Agent General by telephone if any important developments should occur.

Joseph C. Grew
  1. British news agency.