138. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Department of State1

Dulte 21. Eyes only Acting Secretary from Secretary for President.

Dear Mr. President:

My visit to Ceylon is a very happy one with an atmosphere of great cordiality prevailing and evidence of strong sympathy for our international policies. I have conferred first with the Prime Minister, whom you may recall was in Washington, and then with Governor General,2 who is a former Finance Minister and a very astute man. They are 100 percent anti-commie and very apprehensive of Nehru’s policies. The Governor General in particular begs US to stand firm and says that any weakening of our position in the western Pacific would turn the whole Asian area over to Communism. He particularly urges continuing support to Chiang Kai-Shek. Here they have much the same fear of India as India professes for Pakistan.

The day started off with a moving presentation of mementos of my great-great-grandmother who is buried here. I was also presented with a first edition copy of the Tamil-English Dictionary which was written by her husband which is still standard here.

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I make this brief as I am going to try to squeeze in a swim in the ocean.3

Faithfully yours, FOSTER.

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 62 D 181, CF 682. Secret.
  2. A memorandum of Dulles’ conversation with Governor General Sir Oliver Goonetilleke on March 11 is ibid., Central File 110.11–DU/3–2256.
  3. Secretary Dulles’ visit to Ceylon was briefly discussed at a meeting of representatives of the Department of State and the Joint Chiefs of Staff on March 30 as part of a general discussion of the Secretary’s post-SEATO trip. (Memorandum on the substance of discussions at a Department of State–Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting, March 30; ibid., State–JCS Meetings: Lot 61 D 417)