845.00/7–947: Airgram

The Ambassador in India ( Grady ) to the Secretary of State


A–146. Section I Reference mytel No. 500, July 7,1 re Nehru’s expression of opinion that Afghanistan’s agitation re NWFP probably represented effort to divert attention from domestic difficulties; and his criticism of India Bill2—particularly with regard to provisions affecting position of States.

In course of same conversation Nehru made following additional points:

India’s foreign policy based on desire avoid involvement with any particular bloc, to refrain from meddling, and to avoid war. India desired friendly relations with U.S.
While there was some fear in India of U.S. economic penetration, India would want U.S. exports—particularly capital goods. In fact U.S. was only country from which quantities needed could be obtained. Need to conserve dollars to import food necessitated cutting down imports of consumer goods. India would probably apply to International Bank for loan.
While USSR had in past held considerable attraction for Indians internal troubles of India now such that interest in USSR had declined. Present interest more in Asiatic Russia than in European since conditions in former furnished Indians better clue to progress. International ideological conflicts currently less important to Indians than domestic problems.
Indian economy would probably tend to follow trend of British economy under Socialist government. Certain large industries would probably be nationalized; large proportion of business and industrial activity would remain in private hands.

Section II While in recent weeks Nehru has shown strain imposed by official duties and remarkably large number of receptions, etc., he seemed on this occasion unusually calm and rational, and did not talk, as on some occasions, in somewhat superficial or detached manner.

Re Afghanistan, mentioned in connection with Hare’s itinerary, Nehru did not elaborate, but remarks reflected his support of policy indicated mytels No. 465, July 1 and No. 505, July 93—namely to make it clear to Afghans GOI strongly opposed to separation of NWFP, whether from Hindustan or Pakistan.

References to USSR seemed indicate a wary attitude—no wholehearted admiration. Remarks re U.S. seemed genuinely friendly.

  1. Not found in Department of State files.
  2. For text of Indian Independence Bill, introduced in the House of Commons by the Prime Minister on July 4 and passed without amendment by the House of Commons and the House of Lords on July 15 and 16 respectively, see British and Foreign State Papers, vol. 147, pt. i, p. 158, or Menon, The Transfer of Power in India, pp. 516–532.
  3. Neither printed.