357.AB/1–1852: Telegram

The Chargé in India (Steere) to the Department of State1


2562. Bajpai asked me to call today and said GOI was anxious that US Govt and Amb Bowles shld know that GOI was as much surprised as they must be at Russian charges Anglo-US interference in Kashmir affairs and their alleged interest in mil bases Kashmir. He was at pains to emphasize that GOI had not given Soviet authorities info or lead upon which its charges cld be based. He went to length of showing me MEA cables dated Jan 10 to Ind Ambs Ankara and The Hague which had been repeated to Moscow but which, as far he aware, had not been communicated to Sov authorities because absence Ind Chargé Moscow in Berlin.

He also showed me exchange cables with jr officer Moscow, acting Chargé, instructing latter not to communicate contents cable in Gundevia’s absence.

Cable in question outlined well known attitude GOI toward Kashmir question and upon issues recently under discussion Paris with Graham. They indicated GOI receptivity to all Graham proposals except that armed forces to remain either side cease-fire line shld be proportional to forces present Jan 49. Latter unacceptable to GOI.

Bajpai stressed cables sent to brief Ambassadors countries represented SC with which GOI had not been in close contact re Kashmir affairs.

Bajpai expressed hope it wld be evident that cable contained nothing which cld possibly give basis for charges such as USSR had made in Paris. I indicated agreement that this was also my impression. I also remarked that it had not occurred to Emb that Russian charges were anything other than tactics with which world thoroughly familiar.

MEA cable contains reference to assurance from UK that GOI wld be informed in advance of action which it now proposed to take in the Security Council. In this connection Bajpai expressed hope info might be recd before his expected departure for Paris approx Jan 24. He [Page 1174] considered it most desirable he be able consult New Delhi on basis such info before his departure if at all possible. He revealed Setalvad, Ind Attorney Gen, and he expecting proceed Paris for SC discussion. Setalvad will lead debate while he, on doctor’s instrs, will confine himself to advisory functions. GOI was concerned Thampa Istan was enjoying advantage Zafrulla propaganda activities Paris during coming critical days in which India inadequately represented.

Bajpai said he had spoken to Nye in same sense and I have since talked with Nye who confirmed he given identical info by Bajpai this morning.

  1. Repeated to London and Paris.