357.AB/1–550: Telegram

The United States Representative at the United Nations ( Austin ) to the Secretary of State


7. USUN considers it might be desirable and helpful to give our present estimate situation of Kashmir case. Up to expiration McNaughton2 presidency SC our policy has been to support McNaughton’s efforts reach basis for agreed solution.3 In our discussions with GOI and GOP representatives we have insistently urged that no door be closed until solution reached and that both parties continue seek McNaughton’s assistance. Our rationale of importance latter point is two-fold: (1) no preferable alternative to McNaughton’s continued efforts is in sight, and (2) repudiation by either party of McNaughton would signify disastrous breakdown of genuine efforts of parties to reach solution.

Difficulty present situation however is based upon doubts as to McNaughton’s availability for future assistance. Such doubts flow [Page 1363] from at least three sources, (1) expiration of McNaughton’s presidency and necessity for affirmative SC action to revive and define his mandate, (2) McNaughton’s personal feeling that he should not waste his ripe maturity in useless efforts and therefore would insist upon some token of both parties’ willingness to “be reasonable” and (3) attitude of GOI toward principle upon which McNaughton proposals4 were based, this last point being closely related to McNaughton’s personal feelings.

Two principal tactical alternatives seem now to present themselves (1) discussion of Kashmir case in SC, (2) suspension discussions SC in favor of Commonwealth discussions at Colombo.5

Attitude of British and Canadians toward foregoing alternatives follows. British Foreign Office appears to favor first alternative ostensibly on basis that GOI might be impressed by SC forensics. Other possible Foreign Office reason, not expressed, is desire to keep Colombo Commonwealth conference sweet by avoiding necessity of having Kashmir dispute discussed on Colombo agenda. Canadian delegation here without McNaughton feels SC discussion of case might better be postponed until after Colombo conference on theory that intervention of Commonwealth members at Colombo might make helpful contribution to SC efforts towards solution which would be continued after conference. Furthermore, Canadians here at loss to see how chasm between two parties’ positions can be bridged here without important modification of stand by one or both.

USUN view is that second alternative is preferable. Our view based on two primary considerations: (1) SC discussions would involve public position-taking by parties which would pour their divergent views in concrete; (2) Colombo offers opportunity for Commonwealth “family” discussion at which leading Commonwealth figures will be present, particularly Pearson.6 At this stage, in view of doubts concerning McNaughton’s status (see above) and for other reasons as well, Pearson’s active intervention with Nehru7 in Colombo seems to us highly desirable. In fact, from worm’s-eye view of mission, continuation of Canadian efforts starting with Pearson in Colombo seems now best hope of peaceful solution of dispute. This of course means resumption by McNaughton of mediation efforts upon return to New York, subject to coordinating orders from Pearson, and continuation [Page 1364] for the present of our attitude of impartiality. If we are correct, Kashmir case for the moment has moved from mission level to government level. We are not informed concerning Pearson’s intention and Canadian delegation here advises he has “no fixed plans” in this connection. We recommend that Department consider advisability ascertaining without delay Pearson’s plans in this regard and urging him to get in and consult with parties at Colombo.

It also seems clear to us that US Government must decide in light of broadest political considerations if and when it would desire SC tighten vise on India. We feel that this would not be advisable at least before Colombo effort made. Thereafter SC position would be assessed in light of Colombo development.

  1. Gen. A. G. L. McNaughton of Canada, President of the United Nations Security Council during the month of December 1949.
  2. Much of the documentation on the Kashmir dispute is printed in the official records of the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. A general survey of Security Council action on Kashmir in 1950 is printed in the United Nations, Year Book of the United Nations, 1950, pp. 304–313 ff. Documentation including reports of the U.N. Commission for India and Pakistan and the U.N. Representative for India and Pakistan, the Security Council Resolution of March 14, 1950, and a summary of the mediation efforts of the President of the Security Council, is printed in United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifth Session, Supplement No. 2 (A/1361), Report of the Security Council to the General Assembly (Covering the Period From 16 July 1949 to 15 July 1950), hereafter cited as GA (V), Suppl. No. 2. The Security Council report for the subsequent period, July 16, 1950, to July 15, 1951, is printed in the Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixth Session, Supplement No. 2 (A/1873), hereafter cited as GA (VI), Suppl. No. 2. The verbatim minutes of Security Council meetings involving the Kashmir dispute in December 1949 and in 1950 are printed in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Fourth Year, Nos. 53, 54 and Fifth Year, Nos. 5–13. See also United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Resolutions and Decisions of the Security Council, 1948, 1949, and 1950.
  3. For draft text of the proposal presented by McNaughton to the Indian and Pakistani Delegations at the United Nations December 22, 1949, see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. vi, p. 1764. A copy of the proposal was distributed to members of the Security Council as a conference room paper and was not published as a Council document.
  4. Conference of Commonwealth Foreign Ministers at Colombo, Ceylon, January 9–14, 1950.
  5. Lester B. Pearson, Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs.
  6. Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian Prime Minister.