741.022/1–2451

The Australian Prime Minister (Menzies) to the Secretary of State 1

top secret

Before I leave for a week’s rest insisted on by my doctor, would like to pass on to you something which I think it is important for you to know on two of the matters which were discussed here by the Commonwealth Prime Ministers earlier this month.

Kashmir. Our talks on this subject have brought me regretfully to the conclusion that Nehru does not want to settle the Kashmir argument and hopes that lengthy delays may strengthen the prospect of Kashmir acceding to India. I have great sympathy with the position [Page 1716]of Liaquat Ali Khan, who is facing a difficult political situation in his country. I formed a high opinion of his co-operative spirit. He is very appreciative of the efforts we made in London. It seems to me of the greatest possible importance to get a decision on this matter which is so seriously dividing India and Pakistan. I hope that the Security Council will be able to act speedily when it reaches the Kashmir problem.

Declaration by Commonwealth Prime Ministers.

There are in our declaration, subscribed to by all the Prime Ministers, references to the United States which, as you will not have failed to realise, are of particular significance in view of earlier attitudes towards the United States by Nehru. I myself felt very strongly, and most of my colleagues were of similar mind, that the meeting of Prime Ministers must not end without some statement setting out our beliefs and referring with the greatest clarity to our bonds with the United States. We piloted our draft declaration through the rocks and obtained for all to see Nehru’s subscription to its sentiments towards the United States.

You will no doubt hear various versions of what took place at the London meetings. To me, and I know to others, these two things stand out—the light we have thrown on the Kashmir issue, and the ground we have won from Nehru on the question of closest cooperation between the Commonwealth and the United States.2

With warmest regards,

R. G. Menzies
  1. Transmitted to the Department by the Australian Ambassador, Mr. Norman Makin, under cover of a note to Secretary Acheson dated January 24. 1951 (741.022/1–2451).
  2. This message was acknowledged by Secretary Acheson on January 25 in a note to Prime Minister Menzies sent by way of Ambassador Makin (357.AB/1–2551).