The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in India
814. Dept seriously concerned turn Kashmir situation has taken as indicated urtel 1151 Dec 24.
Nov 12 Mrs. Pandit1 approached Dept officials New York re Kashmir situation stating she was doing so at instance Nehru. She expressed India’s desire for Kashmir plebiscite on basis adult suffrage to be held next spring under UN supervision. She mentioned plan under which India and Pakistan would agree beforehand take case SC with joint request that commission of small and disinterested countries be sent supervise and observe Kashmir elections and definitely indicated desire that Great Powers including USSR not participate in plebiscite commission.
Question UN plebiscite also discussed informally with GOP Amb Ispahani2 New York who stated that although he was without instructions, he seemed3 favorably disposed toward such solution Kashmir problem.
Subsequently Dept noted that although London reported (6270 Dec 14) UN approach unlikely, Mountbatten was endeavoring (Delhi’s 1119 Dec 124) persuade GOI and GOP agree appointment UN intermediaries including US.[Page 185]
Obviously best solution Kashmir problem would be amicable agreement among Kashmir authorities GOI and GOP. Failing that, it would be hoped parties to dispute would follow letter and spirit Art 33 UN Charter which enjoins recourse negotiation, inquiry, mediation, conciliation, etc., before reference UN. Dept not informed reasons why recent Lahore talks on Kashmir failed, but it appears from your 1147 Dec 235 and particularly your 1151 Dec 24 direct settlement among parties concerned highly doubtful.
If Bajpai envisages recourse UN along lines Mrs Pandit indicated Nov 12, one possible procedure would be that GOI and GOP should each choose one or two UN Govts, not necessarily member SC, the two or four Govts chosen to select an additional Govt to comprise plebiscite commission. Obviously, this type approach to SC would be more effective if made jointly by GOI and GOP as suggested by Mrs Pandit, but conceivable that GOI could unilaterally make such proposal to SC. Dept believes SC technically competent authorize establishment such plebiscite commission under its auspices.
View foregoing Delhi requested informally convey GOI US regret breakdown Lahore talks, ascertain reasons for breakdown and present GOI plans for future Kashmir status; and inquire whether, in event recourse UN, plan along above lines for plebiscite SC auspices would be followed. US concerned lest recourse by India to UN without some such prearranged plan might lead to unnecessary complications and crystallize pattern GOI–GOP hostility.
Karachi requested likewise discuss Kashmir situation with GOP informally without divulging contents Delhi’s 1151 and primarily with view ascertaining GOP reaction to plebiscite plan outlined above.
London should report Brit views which will be taken into account in final determination US position.
Sent New Delhi repeated Karachi 218 and London 5368.
- Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, sister of the Indian Prime Minister and delegate to the 1947 second session of the United Nations General Assembly.↩
- M.A.H. Ispahani, Pakistan Ambassador to the United States and delegate to the 1947 second session of the General Assembly.↩
- The word “was” which originally appeared here, was changed to “seemed” before telegram was sent.↩
- Not printed.↩
- Not printed.↩
- Not printed.↩