689.90D/1–1051: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Gifford) to the Secretary of State


3834. Current status US efforts promote informal Afghan-Pakistan conversations communicated Murray1 today along lines Deptels 33252 and 3326 January 9.3

Murray expressed Foreign Office’s appreciation for information which he said was particularly timely since Foreign Office has had in mind possibility endeavoring persuade Liaquat accept US proposals if suitable opportunity presents itself. Murray told us that when Bevin4 briefed on this subject, latter had suggested possibility UK suggesting to Liaquat that he sit down at table with UK, Afghan and US representatives here in London to explore possibility of holding such conversations. Murray said he had pointed out to Bevin that [Page 1932]Afghans had already indicated willingness to consider proposals and no good purpose would seem to be served by their participation. Bevin agreed, but still has in mind possibility suggested procedure for undertaking talks be explored by Liaquat with UK and US representatives here. Murray stressed Bevin may not even make this latter suggestion, but if he does so, there would be sufficient opportunity for us to obtain instructions from Department. We would appreciate Department’s reaction.5

Repeated Karachi 48, Kabul 11.

  1. J. D. Murray, Head of South-East Asia Department, British Foreign Office.
  2. Telegram 3325, to London, January 9, not printed, instructed the Embassy to inform the British Foreign Office of the substance of telegram 597, from Karachi, January 5, and of telegram 375, to Karachi, January 9 (689.90D/1–951).
  3. See footnote 1, supra.
  4. Ernest Bevin, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  5. In telegram 3358, to London, January 11, not printed, the Department requested the Embassy to inform the British Foreign Office of its belief that it was premature to initiate quadripartite or tripartite talks with respect to possible Afghan-Pakistan discussions. Provided the Pakistanis or the British Foreign Office took the initiative, the Department saw no objection to the Embassy talking with the Pakistanis with respect to the general position of Pakistan vis-à-vis the U.S. approach. (689.90D/1–1051)