Memorandum by the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs (Berry) to the Secretary of State
Subject: Appeals From the UK and Pakistan for Admiral Nimitz’s Services in Kashmir
On January 30 Mr. McGhee and Mr. Hickerson forwarded a memorandum1 to you requesting that you urge the President to make available Admiral Nimitz’s services to carry on UN negotiations in the Kashmir case. When it was decided that this would not be advisable,2 another joint memorandum was forwarded to you calling attention to a possible appeal from the UK and Pakistan and recommending that you forward a personal message to Mr. Bevin pointing out that, while Admiral Nimitz was not available at this time, we would be glad if the UK concurred to approach another distinguished American, Dr. Ralph Bunche and to press him to undertake the proposed Kashmir negotiations.3 It was decided that a preferable approach would be to have Mr. McGhee discuss this matter with the British Embassy, which he did on February 6 in a conversation with Mr. Steel, Minister Counselor of the British Embassy.4 On February 8, Ambassador Austin in New York informed the Pakistan Foreign Minister, Sir Zafrulla Khan, that Admiral Nimitz’s services were unavailable and that the US had suggested to the UK another distinguished American without identifying the person by name. Mr. McGhee similarly on this date informed the Pakistan Ambassador here. Both the UK and Pakistan representatives expressed disappointment upon hearing of Admiral Nimitz’s unavailability and Sir Zafrulla has requested a meeting with the President at which time we anticipate that he will ask us to reconsider our decision on Admiral Nimitz.[Page 1721]
On February 10 the British Embassy approached the Department and requested that the views of Mr. Bevin be transmitted to you. The UK inquired (Tab A)5 if the President could not make Admiral Nimitz’s services available for an immediate three-month assignment as provided in the revised UK Kashmir resolution.
A complicating factor is that we have just informally learned that both the White House and Admiral Nimitz are of the opinion that his services might be made immediately available for UN Kashmir negotiations. We believe we should now inform both the UK and Pakistan that we favor Admiral Nimitz retaining his status as UN Plebiscite-Administrator-Designate for future services in Kashmir; that he will not be available for UN duties at this time, in view of his current appointment as Chairman of the President’s Commission on Internal Security and Individual Rights; and that we believe another outstanding American can be sent out to take on the immediate task of demilitarization and to suggest plans for the plebiscite. We should stress to the British that we strongly favor Dr. Bunche because of his extensive UN experience in difficult negotiations (Tab B).6 We are not in a position to inform the Pakistan Foreign Minister of the name of our alternate choice, as we believe it highly important that the name of the person designated by the UN not be submitted to the parties for their approval, a view shared by the Pakistanis.
1. That you sign the attached telegram (Tab B) to Mr. Bevin;
2. That you approve the attached memorandum to the President (Tab C);7
3. That you arrange to have Admiral Nimitz informed of the above developments.
- Not printed.↩
- According to a memorandum of February 5 by Mr. Matthews to Mr. McGhee, the “Secretary on February 2 decided that it would be inadvisable to approach the President requesting Admiral Nimitz’s services be made available for the Kashmir negotiations proposed in the UK draft resolution.” (McGhee Files, Lot 53D468)↩
- Memorandum by Assistant Secretaries McGhee and Hickerson to the Secretary of State, February 2, 1951, not printed (357.AB/2–251).↩
- See the memorandum of conversation of February 6, p. 1718.↩
- Extract of memorandum of conversation of February 10, not printed, in which the following participated: Mr. Michael Walker of the British Embassy and Messrs. Elbert G. Mathews and Frank D. Collins of the Department of State (357.AB/2–1051). A portion of this conversation is paraphrased in telegram 3765 to London. February 12, infra.↩
- Annex below. The covering memorandum bears the following notation in the Secretary of State’s hand: “I gave the memo to the President who will see Sir Zafrulla at 12:15 Wed. [February 14.] I have signed the telegram. D[ean] A[cheson].”↩
- The President and the Secretary of State met with Sir Zafrulla and the Ambassador of Pakistan on February 14; see the memorandum of conversation of that date by Secretary Acheson, p. 1726.↩