693.0031 Tibet/8–748

The Tibetan Trade Commission (Shakabpa) to the Secretary of State

Your Excellency: In our capacity of the members of the first official trade mission from the Government of Tibet, we extend Your Excellency our greetings and salutations with high respects and honour.

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We have the honour to state that we have been deputed by the Government of Tibet to visit India, China, the United States and the United Kingdom to find out whether we gain or lose in our trade with other countries and also to improve our commercial relations with other countries, especially with the United States.

Before the war, Tibet could import from and export to any countries through India any goods without any restrictions or control. The exporters of goods could use their foreign exchanges as necessary or as best suit them. And importers could freely buy foreign exchanges for their imports.

But since the last war, the Government of India put a number of restrictions on the import and export of goods to and from India and at the same time tightened their control on foreign exchanges. Curiously enough, the Government of India applied these restrictions and controls on the exports and imports of goods from and to Tibet—in spite of the fact that Tibetans use the port of Calcutta only as a centre through which goods are sent and brought to and from other countries of destination and origin, and that these goods are only in transit to and from such countries.

Tibet wants sincerely to improve her commercial relations with the United States not only by exporting wool, yaktails, furs, musk, etc to U. S. A. but also by importing her necessities such as small farm machineries and various manufactured consumer goods from U. S. A. But at present the Government of India is preventing this export-import trade in as much as they are compelling the Tibetans to surrender to the Reserve Bank of India all U. S. A. dollars earned from the export of Tibetan products. As a consequence, Tibet has been denied the right of importing her requirements from the United States.

While we were in New Delhi, we raised this matter with the Government of India and demanded that in as much as we are using the Port of Calcutta as transport centre only and in as much as the Tibetan products from Tibet are only in transit to other countries through India, they must not withhold the U. S. dollars which the Tibetans earned from export of Tibetan products and that Tibet should be free to import American goods with these dollars.

Unfortunately, this matter has not been satisfactorily concluded yet. And we hope Your Excellency will help us, by putting diplomatic pressure upon the Government of India, in our effort to achieve from them our right of international trade and commerce so that the legitimate mutual trade between Tibet and the United States—both export and import—may soon be flourished and we may freely export our products to U. S. A. and import our requirements from U. S. A. in ever increasing volumes.

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Further, as mentioned in the letters from the Regent and the Cabinet of Tibet which we had the privilege of presenting to Your Excellency personally yesterday, we have been ordered by the Government of Tibet to buy from the, United States gold bullion for stabilization of Tibetan currency. We shall deem it highly favoured, if Your Excellency will be kind enough to issue us a permit to enable us to buy 50,000 (fifty-thousand) Ounces of gold and ship them to the Government of Tibet for that purpose.

As we are going to New York, N. Y. on Sunday the 8th August 1948, we hope Your Excellency will be kind enough to favour us a reply to this letter there in New York at Your Excellency’s earliest convenience. We shall be staying at Commodore Hotel in New York, N. Y.

With best respects [etc.]

For and on behalf of Tibet Trade Mission,
Tsepon Shakabpa
, Leader)