791.13/1–2751: Telegram

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

top secret
niact

1844. Please no circulation except Department as indicated by McGhee of NEA.

1. Minister referred to in Embtel 1843 January 27 has recently exchanged letters with you.1 During our today’s talk he spoke with great bitterness of way in which UK and Canada had “exploited” Nehru. Said at London2 they had flattered him into believing he was only living statesman who could carry banner for those seeking world peace. They were not in position resist US demands for action in UN which would lead to war for which they (particularly UK) were not prepared. Officers UK General Staff had been brought in to prove US policies if carried out would bring disaster both to Asia and Europe. These officers said they did not have soldiers or equipment to fight war and in any event war not necessary. Now after Nehru had gone out and waved his banner UK and Canada were not [Page 2092]standing behind him. Pearson3 for instance was apparently stating Canada would support resolution branding Peiping as aggressor and UK would probably follow suit. Nehru would likely have trouble holding together his Asian bloc which had been formed with aid UK. Minister went on at some length to tell me what Nehru had said at recent cabinet meeting re Commonwealth conference.

2. I asked Minister re role Indian HICOM in London.4 Minister said this official’s activities and influence venomous but most effective enemy US so far as Nehru was concerned was still Mountbatten.5

Henderson
  1. Not found in Department of State files.
  2. The conference of British Commonwealth Prime Ministers, which Nehru attended, was held in London from January 4 through 15.
  3. Lester B. Pearson, Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs.
  4. V. K. Krishna Menon.
  5. Lord Mountbatten had been Viceroy of India, March–August 1947, and Governor-General of the Dominion of India, August 1947–June 1948. Since 1950 he had been Lord Commissioner of the British Admiralty, Fourth Sea Lord, and Chief of Supplies and Transport.