Secretary’s Memoranda: Lot 53D444

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State

confidential
Participants: The President
Sir Zafrulla Khan
Ambassador Ispahani
Ambassador Mohammed Ali, Secretary General of the Pakistan Foreign Office
Mr. Acheson

The President received Sir Zafrulla Khan at the latter’s request. Those attending the meeting are noted above.

Ambassador Ispahani opened the discussion by presenting the President with a letter from the Prime Minister of Pakistan. This letter referred to the delays and difficulties which had been created by India in the settlement of the Kashmir dispute and to the fact that the matter was about to come again before the Security Council. The purpose of the letter was to request the President to make the services of Admiral Nimitz available to the United Nations in carrying out any resolution by the Security Council.

After the President had read the letter, Sir Zafrulla Khan supported the request of the Prime Minister. He pointed out the great importance from an international point of view of the settlement of this controversy. This came both from the geographical location of Kashmir and the disastrous consequences of any continuance of the tension between India and Pakistan. He said that to the people of Pakistan the name of Admiral Nimitz was synonymous with holding [Page 1727]of the plebiscite and the peaceful settlement of this controversy. He had become an important symbol of the United Nations and of American interests in the settlement of the dispute.

The President then referred to the long period of time in which Admiral Nimitz had been waiting to perform his duties and the urgent necessity which had arisen to perform the services for the United States in connection with the Loyalty Commission. He said that he could not see his way clear to releasing him at this time. However, he would remain available to conduct the plebiscite and that he hoped that after the Admiral had completed the organizational work and the Commission had got started, preparations for the plebiscite would be sufficiently advanced so that Admiral Nimitz could then conduct it. The President added that if it were desired to have another American carry out any instructions of the Security Council regarding demilitarization, the President hoped to be able to select an outstanding person who would be satisfactory to both parties to the dispute. The President said that they would be consulted in this.

Sir Zafrulla Khan stated that while he was disappointed, the President was obviously the person best qualified to decide where the Admiral’s services were most needed. He thought that it was most important in selecting any other person to do the demilitarization task, that he should be a military officer, not only because the task would have predominantly military aspects but also because he thought it most undesirable that the idea of mediation should again be prominent. He hoped that the Security Council would reach decisions and that the man selected would be directed to carry them out. It was for this reason that he preferred a military officer to a civilian, although he did not say that no civilian would be equal to this task.

The President ended the interview by stressing the importance which he attached to the solution of the dispute and his understanding of the necessity of making plans strong and continuing United States interest in this solution.

D[ean] A[cheson]