The Ambassador in India (Bowles) to the Department of State1
2718. Conversations yesterday with Nehru and Menon on Kashmir while marked by great reticence on their part indicated GOI somewhat resentful re tone of UK approach to Bajpai (para 1(c) Gadel 840, Jan 25, rptd Delhi 1503). Questions as to GOI sincerity plus argumentative tone approach may be misunderstood by GOI officials whose attitude like that of Pakistan’s is often emotional re Kashmir. UK, HC and we agree approach was unfortunate in that GOI may interpret as effort obtain commitment in advance further mediation by Graham and to that extent lessen his chance success. It is also my belief that Bajpai’s confidential suggestion to me that Graham shld consider possible future mtg of two Prime Ministers shld not be raised [Page 1184] in discussion with Indian officials at Paris at this stage as such mtg wld be up to Graham and wld in any event probably depend upon course further mediation by Graham. Moreover, it might prejudice my future relations with Bajpai.
I realize this is old situation, that it has involved many tense issues, but may I suggest fol approach:
- Let’s all relax as much as possible and carefully avoid emotional involvement. Soviet Union trying put us in middle. If we don’t look out they will succeed.
- Make up our mind we alone cannot solve every problem and restrict our role this issue to that of friend to both countries which refuses take sides but anxious help if possible in solution present conflict.
- In that mood send Graham to sub-continent soon as possible with minimum of discussion, scolding and advance bargaining efforts, and with clear understanding odds probably against settlement this time.
- Pray for Graham’s success but if he fails, keep our patience, refrain from moral judgments and adopt position in SC which, in light of situation then existing, will be best calculated to advance settlement between India and Pakistan, without aligning US with one side or other and thus avoid falling into a Soviet trap.
- Meanwhile, consider various alternative steps both through SC and outside of it which might be taken in event Graham shld fail.
- This telegram was repeated for information to London, Paris, and Karachi.↩