893.00 Tibet/8–549: Telegram

The Ambassador in India (Henderson) to the Secretary of State

888. 1. We do not believe suggestion (a) would work out particularly this year since two members British High Commission who desired visit Tibet were discouraged by GoI which at present has practical monopoly on Tibet’s foreign relations. There might be complications if attempt were made to replace this project by British-American team. Furthermore we doubt Tibet would be pleased at idea first American civilian official entering as member British-American team (Deptel 530, July 28). Nevertheless if Department has reasons for joint American-British visit we shall put out feelers but believe next spring preferable.

2. In our opinion too late in year to organize expedition envisaged in (b). Expedition should enter not later than early September since trails after middle October dangerous and frequently impassable. Impossible get permits and set up properly organized expedition within 3 weeks. Suggestion (b) might be practicable in early May. If (b) decided upon for next spring, suggest we begin making plans without delay and that approach Tibetan authorities be made before end of year since mail goes through up to December. Believe Jones ideal officer accompany Cammonn. Tibet Government might refuse Cammonn visa unless in request for permit it is stressed he will be accompanied by American official such as Jones. Visits foreign non-officials in general discouraged. Permit Lowell Thomas outstanding exception made on basis friendly relations between this Mission and various Tibetan officials.

3. We should take Gol in our confidence at early stage regardless whether we decide on (a) or (b).