357.AB/2–2851: Telegram

The Chargé in India (Steere) to the Secretary of State


2272. Munshi1 invited me call, ostensibly show me text Parliament statement he making today re efforts secure Russian wheat. Real purpose however was voice concern about likely results SC consideration Kashmir resolution sponsorship US–UK. Munshi said rightly or wrongly most Indians felt US sponsorship was retaliation for Indian attitude re Korea and to placate Pakistan. If matter came before SC Indian attitude at mildest would be SC could take whatever action it desired but India would refuse cooperate. It was even conceivable course debate might be such as induce India withdraw UNO. India in either event would be forced psychologically toward side Soviet and Communist China, latter of which, he said, was endeavoring placate India by reaching an accommodating agreement with Tibet. Soviets, he thought would play India’s side in SC and probably use veto (see Embtel 2231, February 24).2 In his view whole outlook was dismal and threatening, more so since US–UK did not seem be aware intensity Indian feeling.

By way of background Munshi mentioned Indian feeling it had been let down by British in Commonwealth Conference London, in GA action labeling Communist China aggressor3 and now (for first time in Kashmir dispute) in resolution strongly favoring Pakistan. His implication, though he avoided saying so, was Britain had yielded to or was influenced by US in each case.

I told Munshi could not believe GOI would take in SC almost suicidal course he had suggested, it was complete misreading US motives to regard sponsorship SC resolution as in any way related Indian action Korea. US concern about Kashmir dispute, involvement in which we had long sought avoid, was it constituted serious threat to peace and danger spot for Communist infiltration in South Asia. We had hoped India and Pakistan could themselves resolve problem but they had made no progress and situation now seemed threatening deteriorate as result Kashmir National Confederation activities. As member UN and SC with responsibilities for leadership we felt duty bound use UN machinery endeavor prevent situation becoming more dangerous.

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Munshi said he himself did not doubt US sincerity but many others did and he was frankly alarmed about attitude developing this country and wondered whether something could not be done avoid matter’s coming to crisis. Was it not possible for SC debate be avoided at present time which most unpropitious. He suggested delay of say two months. If that impossible he thought friendly high level approach US–UK to parties concerned with indication readiness find solution outside UN would be best way avoid thoroughly bad situation now threatening. He said such approach was best way to deal with Nehru.

Munshi intimated that GOI would still accept solution giving Jammu to India through partition and providing acceptable means for conducting plebiscite in vale. Striking point was that India could not accept plebiscite proposal for vale which left military forces of Pakistan, the aggressor, where they are and required India, the injured party, to withdraw its army. No way to meet Indian sensibilities this point had yet been proposed.

My impressions of above are that Munshi: (a) Chiefly concerned lest debate Kashmir resolution might interfere favorable action US food grant legislation and (b) Might have been put up to making this approach by Cabinet colleagues. He was given no intimation that conversation would be reported.

  1. Kanialal Maneklal Munshi, Indian Minister of Food and Agriculture.
  2. Telegram 2231 from New Delhi, February 24, not printed, conveyed a report received by the Embassy that Sir B. N. Rau would make a statement at Lake Success on the U.K.-U.S. draft Kashmir resolution that would be the “shortest and most insulting” ever made in the U.N. (357. AB/2–2451).
  3. Resolution 498 (V), adopted by the General Assembly at its 327th Plenary Meeting on February 1.