701.4511/9–946: Telegram

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


8026. We informed Patrick on Saturday of contents of Dept’s 6479, September 6.37 He seemed pleased at decision because: (a) it would give a certain prestige to interim government and (b) it might have some effect on Moslem League’s intransigence and possibly make Moslems more conciliatory to Congress following this direct evidence that US Govt considers Interim Govt respectable enough for an exchange of ambassadors.

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However, Patrick showed some concern that US willingness to establish direct diplomatic relations with India might encourage Nehru38 to take decisions in foreign policy which would meet with British disapproval. Technically, said Patrick, Interim Govt comes under Govt of India Act, where it will remain until a new Indian constitution is formulated. Therefore, he continued, there might still be “Whitehall interference” in decisions of Interim Govt, but British Govt would make every effort to avoid such interference. He added that nevertheless subject might be raised by questions in Parliament as to decisions and activities of Interim Govt.

Patrick said he would immediately inform Pethick-Lawrence of remarks made to Bajpai, and that a telegram would be despatched to Wavell.

Repeated New Delhi 31.

  1. This telegram was also sent as No. 708 to New Delhi. The pertinent portion reads as follows: “For your confidential info Dept indicating Bajpai informally we are now prepared exchange Ambassadors with India should GOI request. Important, however, initiative be taken GOI.” (701.4511/9–646)
  2. Jawaharlal Nehru, President of the Indian National Congress, as well as Vice-President of the Executive Council, Minister for External Affairs and Minister for Commonwealth Relations, Interim Government of India.