611.90/8–1550: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in India 1

top secret

247. Skeptical response of much articulate Asian opinion to UN action re Korea2 is seriously disturbing and foreshadows possibility little Asian support shld further Commie aggression require deeper US involvement in such trouble spots as Indochina and Formosa. It is apparent that important segments Asian peoples are not yet convinced of our devotion to peace, lack of imperialist ambition and interest in Asian freedom and progress. Asian govts share these doubts and for this and other reasons are reluctant to take clear stand against danger of Soviet imperialism even though govts seem increasingly aware of threat to them and their countries.

We may be able remove some doubts of Asian govts by closer consultation with them on Asian problems and by encouraging them assume greater responsibility for solution those problems. To this end Dept is considering approach to Nehru and Liaquat,3 and possibly leaders of other free Asian countries at a later date, along fol lines:

1.
US Govt wld like establish in Asia pattern of consultation on Asian and other world problems comparable to that now obtaining in Eur wherein US and Eur govts, particularly UK and Fr, maintain constant close liaison for frank exchange views on actual and impending situations both within and without UN.
2.
We wld regard and wld wish Asian govts regard such consultation as two-way street with info re, and suggestions for solutions of, problems flowing in both directions in atmosphere mutual understanding and confidence. As regards situations in Asia, we recognize Asian govts have special interest and knowledge. We assume Asian govts on their part recognize that many Asian situations vitally affect US.
3.
US approach to Asia is disinterested in sense we have no desire for territory, special privilege, or any form direct or indirect control. We do desire that Asian peoples have opportunity work out own institutions and destiny in accord with their deep-seated nationalist aspirations and that relations between Asia and rest of world, necessarily close in this day of global interdependence, be based on free consent, not force or duress. Asian development along these lines is, [Page 1469]in our view, gravely threatened by clear intent of USSR to establish new world empire by aggression. We are deeply concerned lest some Asian countries find themselves unable withstand this threat.
4.
We wish explore with key free Asian govts their appraisal Asian situations and ways and means strengthening Asia against Sov imperialism and increasing Asian participation in solution world problems in Asia and elsewhere.

Foregoing approach is conceived as first step in phased plan of action. Later steps might include dispatch high level rep from Wash to visit free Asian govts to obtain comparative view their reactions this approach and prospects their cooperation. Existing ECA Asian aid programs and possible program for South Asia now under study in Wash are related to plan of action, but are not conceived, or wld they be presented, as reward for acceding to US or Western policies. Programs wld be directed toward assisting free Asian countries better their econ condition and increase their ability resist Sov imperialism.

This tel FYI and shld not be discussed with govt to which accredited or foreign dipl colleagues. Ur comments on proposed approach to Asian leaders and ur suggestions re further steps urgently desired.

Acheson
  1. Repeated to Karachi as telegram 95.
  2. For documentation on U.S. relations with Korea, see volume vii .
  3. Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan.