The Secretary of State to the Embassy in India
751. Convey substance following Bajpai (urtel 1036 Nov 10): When original GOI request planes referred President he expressed sympathy [Page 172] but stipulated planes could only be provided in response joint GOI–GOP request. Considerations which led President make this stipulation still exist, and US Govt regrets it cannot act on request one Dominion for planes to be used interdominion flights. Moreover, while US Govt recognizes protection and movement refugees still present great problems both Dominions, GOI and GOP efforts protect refugees have largely eliminated imminent mortal danger refugees which prevailed early Oct and which was then primary factor in leading US Govt give sympathetic consideration provision its planes.
Following for your info only. In view President’s stipulation, Dept would have to refer matter White House again to obtain authority act on request from GOI only. Dept does not feel justified do this or press Air Force provide planes now for following reasons. (1) Improvement refugee situation noted above. Dept fully aware continuing potential danger but doubts that US aid on practicable scale would remove danger. (2) Karachi tel 158 Oct 301 reported GOP had moved 8000 non-Muslim refugees from NWFP by rail. Hence, refugee group of primary concern GOI apparently can be moved without planes. (3) GOP obviously not enthusiastic about US planes as Lewis never approached, and GOP made special effort move NWFP group by rail. (4) GOI has obtained more than ten planes originally requested US from other sources including BOAC and internal airlines, although planes from latter source appear have been used for movement troops and military supplies to Kashmir and not for refugees. (5) Provision US planes at present obviously would not contribute improvement GOI–GOP relations which as you point out have so deteriorated that relatively small US gesture would be ineffective. As you are aware, Dept from outset emphasized view that primary justification for and objective of provision US planes was closer GOI–GOP cooperation.
Dept appreciates and has carefully considered Emb point of view this matter but feels factors enumerated foregoing paragraph impel negative response GOI request.
Sent Delhi 751 Rptd London 4852 and Karachi 179 Karachi pass to Lahore.
- Not printed.↩