845.00/2–2846: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Gallman) to the Secretary of State

secret

2442. Reference Department’s 1800, February 26.18 Patrick did not go so far as to indicate that British Government actually prepared to establish interim council without participation of one of major parties. He merely mentioned difficult prospect that would be presented in event that situation should develop in such a way as to make it necessary to face that problem.

This point was also raised by member of Embassy staff last night in a conversation with Henderson, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for India, who replied indirectly to effect that formation of an interim council with only one of main parties participating would be “one of the alternatives” which would be presented if mission failed but he took great pains to emphasize that this time British Government intends making an all-out effort to persuade Indians of complete sincerity of British intentions and to bring about reconciliation between Congress and Moslem League. He seemed intent on keeping aim fixed on this objective and on avoiding discussion of possible retreat to less desirable positions.

Asked in what way he envisaged a compromise between currently irreconcilable attitudes of Congress and Moslem League, Henderson said he thought that key lay in degree to which Jinnah might yield on [Page 84]Pakistan issue and he made it clear that he personally viewed Pakistan concept as unsound. It was he said just about as practical as suggest making southern England an independent country. On whole Henderson seemed less pessimistic re prospective solution than most observers but it was difficult to determine to what extent this was result of his natural buoyant idealism and to what extent a deduction from something more tangible.

Gallman
  1. Text reads as follows: “Did you gather that Brit Govt intends establish interim representative Executive Council (ref second sentence of second paragraph urtel 2179 Feb 21) even though one of major political parties refuses to participate?” (845.00/2–2146)