611.91/12–3050: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in India


1003. In hour’s talk with Sec Dec 29 IndAmb1 said she going London solely to discuss Indo-US relations; that Bajpai had written her saying PM and late Deputy PM never really doubted ability US and India get along but “little things” occurred to cause public misunderstanding and PM anxious know how US and India can come closer together in view “threat which faces us”. Said she wld appreciate something to take back.

Sec said differences must not be magnified but seemed likely Commie Chi wld try drive UN forces from Korea and extend aggression IC and other areas; sensitiveness US public wld be heightened and it is important US and India avoid saying things about each other. Both shld watch main threat—USSR, and India shld bear in mind effect of its policies on a country which has participated in UN action [Page 1482] idealistically and having been humiliated is not in very judicious state of mind.

Re two million tons food grains, Sec said Dept very sympathetic, and working on technical aspect, ascertaining availabilities. Said he believed dollar debt wld merely embitter relations and Cong action wld be necessary. Amb agreed with Sec undesirability taking request to Cong without reasonable assurance passage.

Ind Amb expressed gratitude for interest; said grain shipts wld stabilize market, create favorable psychological effect; Patel’s death had encouraged govts enemies. US had difficulty interpreting India but it was difficult convince Indians US not trying buy India.

Ind Amb asked what wld be result failure UN cease-fire efforts. Sec said if ChiCommies launched mass attack in Korea calm discussions impossible and UN wld expire if it ignored such aggression. On other hand if present mil positions stabilized talks might still be possible.

Ind Amb said Chi Commies not likely abandon efforts have greater say in Asian matters. Sec said he saw no evidence other Asian countries wld take hostile attitude toward Chi Commies if they did not use force.

Returning to grain request Sec said clear talks with MCs wld be necessary and GOI cld help considerably in answering MCs questions. Settlement Indo-Pak disputes such as Kashmir, canal waters wld strengthen subcontinents ability resist aggression and wld favorably impress MCs who wld also wish know whether India appreciated depth of danger in present crisis.

Ind Amb said great efforts had been made resolve Indo-Pak differences and they wld have to reach understanding. India probably as great an enemy of Communism as US but if it wished retain any influence in Asia it cld not afford—short of still more critical sit—come out openly against USSR; no one need fear India’s not being staunch ally. Sec said he was sure difficulties wld be overcome.

[Here follows the remainder of the telegram, presenting the substance of a conversation later in the day between McGhee and Mrs. Pandit which covered considerations of possible regional defense arrangements which might be discussed at the London Commonwealth meeting in January and the source of arms supply to India in case of military crisis in Asia.]

  1. For documentation on U.S. relations with Tibet, see vol. vi, pp. 256 ff.