The Ambassador in India (Grady) to the Secretary of State
[Received August 18.]
Subject: Tibetan Trade Mission: Plans for Washington Visit; Political Background.
Sir: I have the honor to refer to the Embassy’s despatch No. 913, dated January 13, 1947, on the subject “Letters to the President from the Dalai Lama, the Regent, and the Kashag of Tibet; Political and Strategic Considerations Pointing to the Desirability of Eeturning Courtesy Visit of Tibetan Goodwill Mission”, and to enclose for the information of the Department a copy of a translation of a letter from the “Foreign Office” of the Government of Tibet dated June 11, 1947; a copy of a letter from Tsipon Shakabpa, a Tibetan official; and copies of the Embassy’s replies thereto. It will be noted that the Tibetan “Foreign Office” states that, with a view to promoting trade between Tibet and India, China, the United States and Great Britain, Tsipon Shakabpa, head of the Tibetan Mint, has been appointed leader of a trade mission which intends to visit the countries under reference; and requests that the Embassy inform the Department in order that Tsipon Shakabpa may “have cordial talks there on arrival”.
Arrangements in Washington
Tsipon Shakabpa, in his letter, states he will carry letters of introduction to the President, “and also to high officials with whom” he will “have to discuss trade matters”; and that he will be grateful if the Embassy will furnish “names of the officials in America” in order that “introductory letters” may be prepared. He also states he will appreciate receiving “any essential advice” regarding his contemplated journey.
In view of the Department’s desire to avoid any action which may reflect on the Chinese claim to sovereignty over Tibet, the Embassy has addressed its reply to the letter from the “Foreign Office” to the “Foreign Bureau”. The Embassy has informed the Bureau that a copy of its letter is being forwarded to the Department for such action as may be deemed appropriate, and has indicated that if Tsipon Shakabpa visits Delhi he will be welcome to call at the Embassy.
In its reply to Tsipon Shakabpa the Embassy has stated it is conveying to the Department the particulars set forth in his letter and that the Department is being requested to make appropriate arrangements during his visit. It is pointed out that while the Embassy would be glad to furnish names of individual officials, it is felt that the Department [Page 596] would be in a better position to advise him in regard to the calls he wishes to make.
It is hoped that these non-committal replies will leave the Department free to do as little or as much as it deems appropriate in looking after the visitors.
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Counselor of Embassy