The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Gallman) to the Secretary of State
[Received December 2—1:54 p.m.]
9849. According India Office Viceroy and Indian leaders will arrive London about 4:30 p.m. today. Viceroy has telegraphed that flight has been tiring and that passengers have been deafened by noisy airplane. Talks themselves will take place Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday when an extremely tight schedule of Cabinet level appointments has been arranged. Leaders will probably depart Friday on return journey.
India Office emphasizes that talks will not have character of a conference and will consist largely of personal and separate interviews between Indian leaders and PriMin and his ministerial colleagues dealing with India. India Office said that this is “Prime Minister’s party” and that regular officials might or might not be consulted.
India Office assumes that PriMin will keep Mr. Bevin51 informed [Page 99]and that sooner or later reports of talks will be sent to the Dominions but India Office is not aware of arrangements having been made in this regard. India Office said that in circumstances decision regarding extent to which Embassy will be kept informed will have to be taken by PriMin who may decide that it is more appropriate for Mr. Bevin to advise the Secretary of developments.
India Office understands and appreciates US interest re Indian problem as outlined paragraph (1), Dept’s 7979 of November 30 and said that in the past American sympathy and statements have been “helpful”.
In light foregoing Embassy will do its best to carry out Dept’s instructions reference telegram but it is uncertain to what extent information re talks will be obtainable and it is unlikely that brief stay Indian leaders will embrace opportunity for establishing appropriate informal contact during which deep US interest can be impressed upon Indian leaders. Moreover, there is distinct possibility that existing tension may cause Nehru, Jinnah or both to interpret whatever is said to them by Embassy as US interference or taking sides. While Congress and League are capable of bending any statement made to their own purposes, Embassy believes that Dept should consider whether the thought that eyes of the world rest anxiously upon the Indian leaders in London might find more palatable and effective expression in a Departmental statement or at a Departmental press conference.
Embassy will not fail to keep Dept advised of developments as fully as possible.
Repeated New Delhi as 50.
- Ernest Bevin, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.↩