611.91/4–1250: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in India


389. 1. Dept finds ur recent analysis state Ind opinion re US very useful (urtel 504 Apr 12).

2. Dept of opinion friendly relations and close US-Ind coop matters of mutual concern must be founded on something more enduring than million tons wheat, dollar loans or gifts. We believe surest way winning Ind confidence and friendship in long run is by rptd demonstration to Ind people and Govt by conduct our relations with other nations of world and with them that our objectives are disinterested constructive as we are confident Inds wld wish their own be regarded. Present Ind attitudes subj these beliefs to serious doubt but Dept not yet prepared accept relatively minor material contributions as basis on which build sound superstructure understanding and friendship.

3. Contents ur conversations with Bajpai (urtel 506 Apr 12)1 emphasize impediment to better US-Ind understanding of mental compartmentalism which seems characterize Ind officialdom as well as articulate Inds generally. Thus, on one hand, Ind criticizes US for failure provide what Ind regards as legitimate share US fon aid. On other hand, they seem ignore public and private statements by responsible Inds to effect that: (1) Ind does not need assistance; or (2) that US aid is instrument of “dollar imperialism.” This compartmentalism complicated by refusal ack Ind domestic troubles, internatl disputes and irresolute econ policies are strong deterrents to public or private US investment. Despite this fact, Dept has supported IBBD loan applications which have been only concrete Ind requests for asst.

4. Inds have apparently never accepted fact US econ aid to fon countries, Such as Marshall Plan, was linked directly to US and Ind vital interest that countries to which aid given shld hasten postwar reconstruction and econ recovery. For example, Marshall aid to UK obviously benefits Ind. US is willing help and can help when conditions are right for help to be effective. As Secy said at Press Club address Jan 122 “Amer assistance can be effective when it is the missing component in situation which might otherwise not be solved. The US cannot furnish all these components to solve question. It cannot furnish determination, it cannot furnish the will and it cannot [Page 1465] furnish the loyalty of the people to its govt. But if the will and if the determination exist and if the people are behind their govt then and not always then is there a very good chance.”

5. Inds frequently insist any fon aid recd shld be, as they put it, “without any strings attached.” Limitations were placed on uses to which Marshall aid cld be put. In our view, it is unreasonable for Inds or any peoples expect highly-taxed Amer people, from whose pockets comes every dol of Amer aid to fon countries, to give these dols freely without some safeguards they will serve achieve purposes for which intended.

6. Re belief US has food to spare for econ warfare but none for alleviation human suffering, US has recd rptd assurances from Ind qtrs that Ind has food problem under control and has noted rptd announcements it intends stop food imports after 1951. Independent reports of impending famine in South Ind and reduction acreage devoted food cultivation favor jute and cotton have been recd from our own sources and Dept of course realizes Ind does have difficult food problem. It has never been approached by GOI for assistance solution food problem on basis alleviation human suffering in Ind. Even single indirect approach for million tons wheat was on basis econ adjustment not suffering.

7. As you have explained Inds, US did not end wheat discussions, which, it shld be noted by Ind critics, never went beyond mere exploratory stage. US officials gave Amb Deshmukh3 benefit of all info bearing on possible acquisition by Ind of one million tons US wheat. After this info given Amb Deshmukh on frankest basis, it was suggested he proceed as he thought best make formal request or otherwise. Subsequently, by an informal ltr from Ind Emb, discussions were terminated. Neither a firm nor a formal request was made by Ind for wheat. USG may be pardoned if it is puzzled learn it is criticized for Inds failure obtain wheat when no firm or formal request for it was ever made. FYI Dept preparing separately info on food surpluses requested urtel 528, Apr 15.4

8. Re Kashmir, you are of course aware, and Dept had thought GOI was also, that GOP accuses US of favoring Ind. Fact both parties accuse US favoring other suggests sincerity US objectivity and inevitably causes Dept consider such accusations as possible tactic designed influence US to cease fol a strictly impartial line.

9. It is difficult for Dept reconcile Ind belief that “actions speak louder than words” with Ind opinion US exerting econ pressure order [Page 1466] force Ind drop socialist programs and adopt system of private enterprise. Presumably, Ind critics do not think their country alone has been singled out for this treatment but rather believe this is a gen aim US econ fon policy in all countries. If this is true, how then do Inds explain vast quantities of aid which have been given countries govts of which encourage socialistic enterprises and have been vigorously pursuing a policy of nationalization of industry?

10. Dept agrees present Ind opinion re US has not developed overnight. On contrary, it believes attitudes you have described have been latent and submerged for a nr of years and are now being given special expression because of press of Ind econ problems and polit dissatisfaction. Despite discouraging state of Ind attitude toward US, it is believed we must continue on present course. As stated above, we doubt Ind friendship and confidence can be won by Amer gifts alone. As in past, so in future, econ assistance to Ind and other countries can only be forthcoming when there is coincident Ind receptivity and our own ability, and constructive purpose to be served.

11. In ur discretion and to such extent you consider helpful in present difficult position, you are authd use foregoing comments in confidential conversations with Bajpai and other Ind officials as representing comments ur govt in response pts previous discussions which you submitted its consideration.

  1. Discussion with Sir Girja Shankar Bajpai, Secretary-General of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, regarding the growing resentment in India against the United States. Telegram 506 from New Delhi not printed. (611.91/4–1250)
  2. Remarks entitled “Crisis in Asia—An Examination of U.S. Policy,” made before the National Press Club, Washington, D.C.; printed in Department of State Bulletin, January 23, 1950, pp. 111–118.
  3. Sir Chintaman D. Deshmukh, Financial Representative of the Government of India in Europe and the United States, 1949–1950; Indian Minister of Finance, 1950.
  4. Not printed.