102.78/9–247: Telegram

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


782. For Anderson1 Agriculture. At request of Secretary General Bajpai, I called on him today where I met Secretary Food Department GOI. Secretary General stated GOI already faced with serious danger due short crops and partition disturbances. Failure on food [Page 165] front would endanger foundation new formed state struggling maintain law and order.

Food Secretary stated food grain stocks in deficit areas first November estimated sufficient few days only and no internal surplus sources available due late autumn harvest result late monsoon. He requested (1) that everything possible be done to expedite delivery 270,000 tons USA allocation last quarter ’47 emphasizing that shipments direly needed arrive India between October 15 and December 15; (2) that allocation be increased by 100,000 tons which would be great help maintaining “controlled hunger” at present low rationing scale which will have to be cut further.

Food Secretary stated GOI unable obtain further food shipments Australia or Middle East—have just obtained agreement Argentina but procurement and shipments too uncertain depend upon help from there.

I informed Indian officials I would transmit facts of situation to my government with recommendation that as much as possible be done to relieve crisis. It is particularly important that shipments be expedited to reach India between October 15 and December 15. Food will contribute a great deal in maintaining law and order especially in refugee settlements which are becoming quite a problem Delhi vicinity. GOI would not be inclined to overstage [overstate] food import requirements at this time when dollars are needed for other essential imports.

I urge and would greatly appreciate personally your earnest effort in this matter.

GOI also making representations through Indian Embassy Washington.

  1. Clinton P. Anderson, Secretary of Agriculture.