357.AB/2–351: Telegram

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

top secret

1942. For McGhee.

1. We wish again with all earnestness, suggest that Department take steps relieve Nimitz his present responsibilities re Kashmir and make sure he not replaced by another American national. In our opinion it would be unfair distinguished American officer like Nimitz who has had such honorable and outstanding career to be called upon to submit to ordeals to which he would be subjected if he should undertake carry out duties plebiscite administrator or function of similar character.

2. On various occasions GOI officials have informally hinted that in their opinion he not man for job. These hints contained no reflection [Page 1717]on his character or general ability. It clear, however, that GOI does not want ex-officer American armed forces serve as plebiscite administrator and if Nimitz does come to south Asia in connection Kashmir, he likely not only not receive GOI cooperation but be target venomous Indian press attack which would charge US has in mind its own special interests in Kashmir and which would seriously affect success his mission. We hope Nimitz can be replaced by outstanding person chosen from Commonwealth or from some small country which would not be vulnerable to charge of having selfish interests in settlement.

Henderson