845.00/3–2747: Airgram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom


A–391. We are disturbed by the implications of New Delhi’s telegram No. 208 [203] March 27,1 repeated to London, regarding purported plans of Hyderabad State to establish “direct relations with the British Crown” and presumably to maintain a status completely separate from that of the rest of India.

As is well known to the Embassy, we have during the past year given full support to the efforts of the British Government to effect a peaceful transfer of power to Indian hands on the basis of a federally unified India. This support has taken the form of several statements to the press by high American officials and of many informal conversations between our diplomatic representatives and important Indian leaders.

In following this course we have been fully aware of the serious obstacles in the path of Indian unity but for the excellent reasons against the division of India set forth in the British Cabinet Mission plan have inclined to the view that our political and economic interest in that part of the world would best be served by the continued integrity of India.

We have accordingly assumed that the British Government would not lend encouragement to plans such as those reported in New Delhi’s telegram No. 208 [203] We feel that a separatist move by Hyderabad may be a prelude to a fragmentation process which might have far reaching effects on any plan for ultimate Indian unity.

In the light of the foregoing please make informal inquiries of appropriate British officials to ascertain whether the British policy on the establishment of an Indian federal union, including the princely states, remains substantially as outlined in the Cabinet Mission Plan of May 16, 1946.2 If there has been a change in British policy, we may have to reconsider our own position with regard to India. It is possible that the British may allude in this connection to our recent moves to establish diplomatic relations with Nepal. As pointed out in the Department’s telegram No. 104 of February 25 to New Delhi,3 [Page 152] repeated to London by airgram, these steps do not have any special significance vis-à-vis the political situation in India. The status of Nepal has long been sharply differentiated from that of the Indian princely states, and we do not feel that Nepal’s position is in any way analogous to that of Hyderabad.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Ambassador Douglas in London informed the Department in telegram 2335, April 21, that Sir Paul Patrick, Assistant Under-Secretary of State, India Office, had stated informally but categorically that his Office shared the Department’s view that in present circumstances neither Hyderabad nor any other Indian state should be allowed to establish a direct relationship with the British Crown. (845.00/4–2147)
  3. In telegram 104, the Embassy was directed to seek an early opportunity to discuss with Nehru and other high officials reasons why a special diplomatic mission was being sent to Nepal (611.45e31/2–2547).