791.13/1–2951: Telegram

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

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1850. For McGhee NEA. Our comment on statements of Cabinet Minister outlined Embtel 1844, January 27 follows:

1.
We believe Minister who spoke with great feeling quite sincere. His remarks apparently based on statements made by Nehru at Cabinet [Page 2094]meeting and during private conversations as well as on his own and rather common knowledge of certain influence exercised over Nehru in British circles.
2.
Despite Minister’s statements we do not believe that responsible British and Canadian leaders such as Attlee,1 Bevin,2 Pearson have been guilty of cynical duplicity. They undoubtedly have expressed to Nehru their worries and perplexities at US attitude, their unpreparedness for war and desire for peace. We have reason believe that other groups in UK particularly have gone much further in begging Nehru act as banner bearer in free world for “forces of peace”. These groups include self-named Liberals who still cling belief that with “fair treatment” international Communism can become loyal ally of “democratic progressive forces of west”. These so-called Liberals whose dwindling counterparts still exist in US have long extolled Nehru as leader who can help bridge gulf between international Communism and themselves. These groups also include usual run fellow-travelers for whom Nehru has always had soft heart, anti-American Conservatives who still hope for deal with Soviet Union which while sacrificing other peoples to Soviet appetite would free UK for “American bondage”, et cetera. We understand during his travels in France and Italy, Nehru also subjected to flattery of similar groups and to appeals from them to assume leadership. We are informed reliably that in talk before officials MEA following return he said everywhere he went in Western Europe he found peoples deeply frightened at way US was leading world into war but did not feel themselves strong enough without aid of non-European countries to break away from American leadership.
3.
We also believe Nehru constitutionally unhappy when he not leading some cause of downtrodden peoples particularly of Asian or colored peoples against real or imagined oppression; that therefore he has been receptive to approaches made to him both while in Europe and prior to visit Europe; and that he has been over anxious interpret these approaches as well as acclaim accorded him in certain sections Europe and US press as reflection feelings of world Liberals and of inarticulate masses of world eager for peace.

Henderson
  1. Clement It. Attlee, British Prime Minister.
  2. Ernest Bevin, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.