501.AA/12–1449: Telegram

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

1555. 1. Tibetan approach re UN admission and dispatch mission US (Deptel 878, December 7) discussed with Foreign Secretary Menon and Roberts, UK.

2. Menon said admission Tibet hopeless, UN debate would unduly agitate Tibetan question and might provoke earlier action by Chinese Communists.

3. a. Roberts expressed similar view. Draft UK reply to similar approach from Kashag avoids outright rejection Tibetan appeal and [Page 1092]suggests in view serious difficulties presently in way on UN admission that dispatch of proposed mission be suspended.

b. Roberts gave Menon UK draft and sounded him out as to GoI willingness deliver it through GoI representative Lhasa together with oral explanation to Tibetans re probable reaction Chinese Communists. If Tibetans still insisted on sending mission, British suggested GoI representative might propose mission come as far as Delhi and talk with GoI and UK representatives here.

4. Menon’s reaction to Roberts’ approach was negative but matter in abeyance pending discussion this week end in which Nehru, Panikkar and Menon will participate to settle GoI policy re Tibet.

5. In absence Bajpai, British fear negative viewpoint set forth paragraph 2 Embtel 1523, December 8, will prevail.

6. I believe US reply should take line similar UK draft. Visit Tibetan mission US would be even more undesirable than to UK. Our reply should, however, not be sent in clear telegram to Gyantse and I suggest it be given orally to Tibetan representative here to whom we will within next day or so give oral response (Deptel 889, December 9) to Tibetan request for aid. (We do not, however, plan include reference to closer historical relationship UK and India to Tibet.)

Sent Department 1555, Department pass London.

Henderson