611.90/8–2350: Telegram

The Ambassador in India ( Henderson ) to the Secretary of State

top secret

452. 1. We have considerable doubt that presentation to GOI of proposals outlined Deptel 247, August 15 for setting up machinery of systematic consultation or dispatch of high US Government representative to Delhi for exploratory talks would serve any constructive purpose until atmosphere here has become more sympathetic to and trustful of US.

2. In our opinion most effective measure for improving atmosphere would be expression readiness our part extend India substantial economic aid along lines touched on in recent exchanges telegrams between Department and Embassy (Deptel 65, July 14 and Embtel 187, July 241). Unless we indicate our willingness materially assist in Indian economic development or unless international Communism should engage in fresh adventures which would frighten Indian leaders into abandoning their present foreign policy of so-called “non-alignment” we believe it would be difficult bring about close cooperation between US and India in international affairs.

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3. Even though such proposals as we might make for setting up machinery for consultation should be presented in most delicate manner there is possibility that Indian leaders, instead of regarding them as flattering demonstration our realization of India’s growing international importance, might consider them as move to lure India into our camp and thus bring end to its policy of non-alignment. Recent strong reaffirmations of GOI policy of non-alignment and announcements of attitudes on certain Asian problems which are clearly at variance with ours, strengthen our doubts that setting up of systematic consultative machinery would serve to bring it under present conditions appreciably nearer our way of thinking. In fact operation such machinery may result in accentuation of differences between us. GOI might well utilize this machinery to insist on our abandonment of policies which we cannot in our national interest afford to give up. It might for instance endeavor introduce into discussions whenever opportunity offers question admission Peiping into UN and might refuse as it does now recognize danger further international Communist aggression in Asia or elsewhere and object to our policies based on that danger. Differences between foreign policy objectives of India and those of US are much sharper than differences between those of US and those of France and UK.

4. Regardless decision Department as to advisability endeavoring set up machinery for systematic consultation we believe we should try to consult more intimately with GOI in future than we have in past re our foreign policies and contemplated actions in foreign field and to encourage GOI to consult more frankly with US. In our opinion we might achieve more through informal voluntary consultations than through consultations held in pursuance of agreement between us. Closer informal, spontaneous consultations could be in form of exchanges of views between Secretary of State and Nehru and discussions through diplomatic channels and between our respective representations in UN. We could also instruct our diplomatic representatives in various world capitals to keep in closer touch than in past with their Indian colleagues.

5. In prevailing atmosphere GOI and Indian public would be likely regard visit high level representative from Washington as empty gesture unless that representative was empowered enter into concrete talks for extension substantial economic aid to India. At this juncture mere expressions of interest in and sympathy for India accompanied by references to Point Four as concrete form of expression thereof are likely irritate rather than inspire friendliness.

Sent Department 452, repeated information Karachi unnumbered.

  1. Neither printed.