The Ambassador in India (Bowles) to the
Department of State
3208. From Bowles. During talk Friday Nehru brought up subject Seventh Fleet, Formosa, and asked if I could give him any information. He said Arthur Sulzberger of New York Times had been quoted in Bombay that this move was largely due domestic pressure and Formosa Government was in no position carry on sizeable raids against Chinese mainland.
He asked for my opinion on accuracy Sulzberger’s analysis. I told Prime Minister it absolutely impossible me offer judgment as I had no facts. I stated Formosa over period of time had become more or less symbol in US and there had been deep opposition to curbing of Chinese Nationalist raids.
I again repeated what I have said over and over again in last few weeks—that I hoped he would not jump to conclusions on American policy and that he would do nothing create further uneasiness or misunderstanding. Prime Minister expressed opinion Labor Party could take over easily in US [UK] if American policies in Asia became aggressively aimed at Chinese people. He stated [Page 147]Attlee1 told him during recent visit New Delhi he felt he could get majority any time but would prefer to stay in opposition for time being.
Nehru stated Chinese situation would certainly be discussed in General Assembly February and March. Said in 1938, just before Munich, when he was in Geneva, Paris and London, France was building up army and Britain had navy ready sail. Europe seemed on brink of war. Yet when he reached Geneva he found League of Nations arguing about control of narcotics and apparently oblivious to fact that second world war seemed imminent.
He stated although he would do nothing stir up situation at present it was quite clear that subject had to be discussed fully at UN if UN to have any meaning. He was not specific beyond this point and because of emotional atmosphere generated by discussion of my resignation I did not press him further.
- British Labor Party leader Clement Attlee.↩