501.BC Kashmir/3–2449: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in India 1


us urgent


248. Kascom 63.

Para one Comkas 26.2 We agree Nimitz consultations with UNCIP 3 and parties re plebiscite details can begin only after signature truce agreement and satisfactory progress in implementation thereof as set forth relevant document UNCIP second interim report. [Page 1692] It is also clear Nimitz can enter formally upon his duties as PA in Kashmir only after truce arrangements have been carried out.
In initial conversations with Dept officials Nimitz indicated strong desire to leave almost at once for subcontinent with party of principal assistants and to make effort hold plebiscite before Nov 1. Upon being informed of relationship his schedule to current progress truce negotiations and implementation thereof as well as of report just received through SYG that UNCIP estimate earliest possible plebiscite date is summer 1950, he expressed disappointment at prospective delay but also determination to see job through to end. Though somewhat concerned with possibility truce might be broken should interval before plebiscite be too long, he fully appreciates that UNCIP estimate based on more authoritative knowledge than anyone here possesses. He hopes however that speedy action can be taken to resolve present truce impasse.
With Nimitz ready for action question has arisen whether he should not proceed forthwith subcontinent to throw his prestige into present truce deadlock. Presumably UNCIP could under para eight UNCIP res Jan 5 call upon PA for such assistance.
Dept view is that while possibility envisaged para three above should not be entirely excluded it would be preferable for UNCIP on its own to take speedy and decisive action on truce agreement utilizing psychological impact Nimitz nomination and his readiness to appear on scene as strong new factor in situation. For Nimitz to get involved in truce negotiations now would involve risk of debasing the coinage of his prestige in a field of activity other than: his central task of organizing and conducting the plebiscite.

With foregoing in mind you are requested take initiative in UNCIP to end that UNCIP press GOI and GOP to acceptance reasonable compromise along following lines: 1) GOP to abandon proposals for retention its troops Kashmir for training Azad elements and to comply with clear intention that its troops begin withdrawal immediately; 2) GOI desist its demand for immediate disbandment and disarmament Azad troops; 3) GOI to put into effect immediately upon beginning of Pak troop withdrawal a program of withdrawal by stages bulk of its troops; 4) GOP to abandon insistence that Pak GHQ maintain operational control over Azad troops; 5) GOI to accept with respect to Azad territory clearly intended meaning “local authorities” to mean local Azad, elements and not reps Abdullah Govt; 6) to give these substantive issues priority ahead of such technical questions as cease-fire line and to consider agreement on them and implementation thereof as sufficient basis for going ahead with plebiscite.

[Page 1693]

Our view here is that positions both GOI and GOP are extreme and in contravention terms Aug 13 Res. It should be impressed on GOP that if they wish early plebiscite they should agree begin immediate withdrawal their troops. As for GOI it could be pointed out that formal appointment PA will enable him undertake arrangements for large scale disarmament and disbandment Azad troops.

When GOI and GOP Chargés d’Affaires called on Nimitz March 25 he made clear to them that he was anxious to get on with job and that delays in truce agreement were holding him up.
Nimitz has asked for time-table estimate from US Rep UNCIP on following points: 1) signature truce agreement; 2) date on which PA can assume duties in Kashmir; 3) plebiscite date. He would also like to know whether UNCIP has prepared studies on electoral procedures in India with particular ref to such referenda as those held in NWFP and Sylhet in 1947.
On March 24–25 Nimitz conferred President SecState and other officials.4 He plans confer SYG three days beginning March 28 and to return Washington for visit thereafter.
Nimitz has requested that his designation for cable purposes be PlebAd.

  1. Repeated to Karachi as 79, London as 1054, and the United States Mission to the United Nations as 191.
  2. Dated March 24, 1949. not printed.
  3. Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, U.S.N., had been nominated on March 21 by the Secretary-General of the United Nations to be United Nations Administrator of the projected plebiscite.
  4. Memorandum of conversation, March 25, 1949, not printed (501.BC Kashmir).