320/1–1752: Telegram

The Acting Chairman of the United States Delegation to the General Assembly (Roosevelt) to the Department of State1


Delga 1089. Re Kashmir. Malik speech2 which attacks Graham report and econ concept of plebiscite with UN plebiscite admin and urges instead settlement by Sheik Abdullah’s constituent assembly is first Sov intervention in Kashmir case.

Since it may on examination present broad change in Sov policy by opposition to Pak, Gross commented only briefly that we seek settlement agreed by parties.

Speech can indicate Sov concentration on Indian public opinion because of USSR plans in SE Asia with consequent abandonment of Pak support. In showing support for Sheik Abdullah’s constituent assembly it may be calculated to support independent Kashmir which wld be set up for Commie infiltration and which India wld be forced by its own public opinion to protect against Pak mil aggression. Without commenting on this phase, Dayal interprets it as having a bad effect on Indian Govt’s support of UN means of settlement with wide appeal to India public opinion. Also, speech may be conditioned in part on desire of USSR to see Arab leadership in hands of Egypt and Azzam Pasha (we saw Malik in conversation with them yesterday and today) rather than in hands of Zafrullah who is more aligned to West.
Another interpretation of Sov move wld be desire to complicate a case they feel is moving toward settlement with irritation at Devers trip in border area and feeling US UK may be planning to supply troops to plebiscite administrator. Fowler (UK) and Ayub (Pak) are personally treating it as localized tactical move that shld be tested out by proceeding with plans re next steps.
Possible interpretation of move ominous nature might be this is part of Sov-Chi Commie plan for SEA and SE Asia mil adventure.
Until we have conferred further with UK and Graham and had further views of Dept, we believe that to proceed with instrs might be very dangerous particularly in view of Pak reaction which [Page 1173] wld have been adverse even apart from today’s developments in SC (on either interpretation tactical questions will arise) such as:
Whether USSR wld veto any further res on Kashmir, or whether we wld take case to GA?
Graham’s attitude toward continuing as mediator with or without res;
Indian attitude toward further negots along lines of UN plan.
  1. This telegram was repeated for information to Karachi and New Delhi.
  2. For the statement in the Security Council on Jan. 17 by the Soviet Representative, Yakov Aleksandrovich Malik, see UN doc. S/PV. 570.