393.00/11–2149: Telegram

The Chargé in India (Donovan) to the Secretary of State

1441. At press conference Delhi 16th Nehru commented as follows re Tibet: “We have got a representative at Lhasa. …23 In a vague sense we have accepted fact of Chinese suzerainty. How far it goes one does not know.” I asked Bajpai today what implications these remarks had re GoI policy toward Tibet. He said he had not discussed Tibet with Prime Minister since his return and that Dayal, Indian political agent in Sikkim, had not yet arrived Delhi where he had been ordered for consultation re Tibet. Bajpai said Prime Minister’s remarks were purposely vague as final policy had not as yet been evolved.

[Page 1083]

He said that speaking purely personally it should be borne in mind that India had always recognized Chinese suzerainty over Tibet but that same time Tibet had always exercised a certain independence in its dealings with GoI. He said if Communist Government China endeavored take over Tibet situation would be very difficult. I remarked that probably India would like to see status quo maintained with respect its relations with Tibet, to which he replied that my comment “about summarized situation”.

Embassy believes GoI greatly concerned over Tibet and realizes that if Communist Government wishes take over Tibet there is practically nothing GoI can do prevent such action. See Embtel 1437, November 21.

Sent Department 1441; Department pass London.

  1. Omission indicated in the source text.