690D.91/1–650: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1


59. Pls have FonOff deliver the fol personal message from the Secretary to Mr. Bevin:2

“I have been gravely troubled by Patel’s3 statement of Jan 4 that the relations between India and Pak have become so strained that they are capable of provoking war. Coming as they do in the midst of an economic war between the two Dominions and the lack of progress in current efforts to reach a solution in the Kashmir dispute, Patel’s words may have a prophetic ring. As you know, General McNaughton has been doing his best by direct talks in New York to bring the parties together on a preliminary agreement which will lay the basis for a final solution in Kashmir. Despite his earnest efforts, he has not so far been able to make much headway although Pak has proved more cooperative than India, and it looks now as though some additional impetus is necessary to remove the obstacles to the successful continuation of the mediatory efforts. It is unthinkable that these two members of the Commonwealth shld reach a stalemate in negotiations when both parties have agreed on the ultimate objective that the fate of Kashmir shall depend upon the freely expressed will of the people.

I would strongly urge therefore that you take the opportunity provided by the Colombo Conference4 to have a thorough discussion of the problem with both sides and use your influence to bring the Indians to a full realization of the necessity of continuing negotiations on a real give and take basis until a satisfactory solution is reached. I am seeing Mrs. Pandit and Bajpai5 on Monday and shall emphasize this point to them.

Because of Mr. Pearson’s prior efforts in this direction and General McNaughton’s able contribution I am sending a similar message to Mr. Pearson.”6

  1. This telegram was repeated as 5 to USUN, 3 to Ottawa, 12 to New Delhi, 9 to Karachi, 8 to Colombo, 48 to Paris, and 12 to Moscow.
  2. Ernest Bevin, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  3. Speech by the Indian Deputy Prime Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, before an estimated 30,000 persons in Bombay.
  4. Secretary of State Acheson apparently received Austin’s telegram 7 of January 5 and the UNA draft of this message to Bevin too late to introduce the USUN thoughts regarding Colombo into his conversation with Zafrulla Khan and Mohammed Ali.
  5. Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Indian Ambassador in the United States; Sir Girja Shankar Bajpai, Secretary-General, Indian Ministry of External Affairs.
  6. This message was forwarded to Bevin at Colombo, Ceylon, by the British Foreign Office on January 7.