357.AB/2–1850: Telegram

The Chargé in the United Kingdom (Holmes) to the Secretary of State


960. Deptel 672, Feb 13. I have today received following letter dated Feb 17 from Bevin replying to Secretary’s message on Kashmir:

“I have given thought to Mr. Acheson’s message which you were good enough to send to me in your letter of February 14, and shall be grateful if you will transmit the following reply to him:

“Many thanks for the message which Mr. Holmes has passed to me. I am anxious not to lose any opportunity of making progress on Kashmir. The immediate essentials are support for demilitarization and the appointment of a United Nations representative to go out to the sub-continent, and I understand from His Majesty’s Embassy in Washington that the State Dept agrees with this analysis. I hope, therefore, that the Security Council will work towards a resolution [Page 1386] on the lines of General McNaughton’s proposals, and embodying his paragraphs 1 and 6. The former sets out the general principles on which a settlement should be reached and has not been objected to by either party. Paragraph 6 defines the terms of reference of the United Nations representative in a way which I hope both parties can be persuaded to accept.

“But I do not think that we would be wise to refer to, or in any way hint at the possibility of solution by a partition at this stage. Both parties are committed to a plebiscite, and though it may be very difficult to arrange it I do not think that the time has yet come to consider an alternative method.

“I have accordingly instructed Sir A. Cadogan to proceed on the above basis, and if the views I have outlined above have your support I am happy to accept your suggestion that he should—in concert with your delegate—take the lead both in canvassing like-minded delegations and in open discussions.

“I still hope very much that, if a Security Council representative is to go to Kashmir in pursuance of whatever resolution the Council may eventually adopt, the task will be entrusted to Admiral Nimitz, and that you and he will support efforts to that end. To my mind there can be no better qualified person for this difficult and responsible mission.

“If at a later stage intervention by other Commonwealth countries seems likely to help, I am sure that this and other Commonwealth Governments will be ready to consider the matter carefully and sympathetically; but my present view is that firm action by the United Nations is more likely to be effective.”

Re antepenultimate paragraph Bevin’s reply, we today asked Garner, Assistant Under Secretary CFO, for clarification phrase in “concert with your delegate,” pointing out this seems imply joint action where as Secretary’s message suggested UK alone assume such leadership. Garner stated intention of phrase is that Cadogan should take lead after consultation with US representative, but that UK hopes for strong support from US during consultation and open discussions.

Sent Dept 960; repeated Karachi 17, New Delhi 17, pouched Moscow, Paris. Department please pass USUN New York as London’s 10.