845.00/12–1046: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Chargé in India (Merrell)

us urgent

919. When you see Nehru (re last para urtel 1196 Dec 1061) suggest you stress following points re US position toward Indian political impasse:

Recent expressions of US interest in Indian political impasse were made solely on US initiative and stem from US feeling that early establishment Indian Federal Union by peaceful means would be great step forward toward world stability and prosperity at a time when there are so many dark clouds on international horizon elsewhere. Important dispel any Indian belief US actions inspired at instance Brit.
US realize that Indian problems must in last analysis be solved by Indians themselves.
We believe that since we are in position of a politically disinterested outsider and since we have had considerable experience in problems of a federal system our views might be given sympathetic consideration by the responsible Indian leaders.
While we are aware that some features of the Brit cabinet mission plan are open to honest and objective criticism, particularly the limited powers of union center, we feel that the plan presents a fair basis for constitution-making in a difficult situation where current political realities cannot be ignored.
US historical experience in federalism indicates necessity inaugurate federal union in atmosphere of unsatisfactory compromises and with weaker central govt than desired by forward-looking elements.
We have found that a central govt initially with limited powers gradually acquires, as experience demonstrates necessity therefor, the additional authority which it must have to meet problems of the Federal Union.
Our hope that Congress accept clear implications Brit Cabinet Mission plan re pronounced groupings is based on understanding that revision Congress attitude this point would rest on reciprocal undertaking by Muslim League to work loyally within framework Indian Federal Union subject only to reopening constitutional issue after 10 years of experiment.

Sent Delhi, rptd London.62

  1. See footnote 59, p. 102.
  2. As telegram 8133.