795.00/9–2050: Telegram

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

top secret

716. Embassy officer called on Bajpai at noon today at latter’s request. Bajpai read two telegrams which had just been received from Pannikar at Peiping in response to instructions (Embtel 683, September 17 [18] and Deptel 405, September 16) Bajpai had sent following conversation reported above Embtel. Pannikar’s report seemed so important that Bajpai was asked to supply copies thereof and he immediately agreed to supply paraphrases first of which (that relating’ to possible Chinese Communist intervention in Korea) is quoted below:

“During my recent conversation Chou En-lai has continuously emphasized peaceful intentions of Chinese Government and even in respect of Formosa on which public feeling was deeply moved they have preferred so far to follow a peaceful line. As regards Korea they have shown no undue interest beyond expression of sympathy. Even that has been notably slackened during the last two weeks. In the circumstances direct participation of China in Korean fighting seems beyond range of possibility unless of course a world war starts as a result of UN forces passing beyond 38th parallel and Soviet Union deciding directly to intervene. I am satisfied that China by herself will not interfere in the conflict and try to pull others chestnuts out of the fire. Also following facts are significant. Not even elementary precaution against air raids is being taken in Peking itself. After experience of Korean cities Chinese are well aware that in case of conflict with America they will be subjected to large-scale bombing and yet there has not been any attempt in Peking, Tienstin, a major industrial city on coast, and Shanghai to educate public opinion in regard to air raid precautions or to organize any scheme of protection. Also apart from strengthening of defenses in Manchuria owing to geographical proximity to conflict there is no evidence of military preparations.”

Bajpai stated that Pannikar had considered it inadvisable in circumstances described above to make representations to Chinese Communist authorities and would not do so unless further instructions received. Bajpai said that he agreed with Pannikar’s judgment but added that if the US possessed information indicating that Chinese Communist intervention was threatening he would be prepared to send new instructions Pannikar.

Second paraphrase forwarded immediately following telegram.