144. Letter From the President to the Secretary of State1

Dear Foster: In the Indian situation I am struck by the amount of evidence we have that Nehru seems to be often more swayed by personality than by logical argument. He seems to be intensely personal in his whole approach, and I have no doubt that the recent meeting in my office2 was arranged by Mr. Nehru in order that his trusted lieutenant could give him a personal appraisal of my general attitude toward the world, India, and Nehru himself.

If this is true, I do hope that you will urge our new Ambassador there to do everything possible to win the personal confidence and friendship of Nehru. I think he should study thoroughly any methods and practices that have apparently been successful in the past, and we, on our part, should avoid putting chores on our Ambassador that would almost compel him to show an unsympathetic attitude toward the Premier. It seems to me that Cooper should be particularly fitted to do this. He has a charming wife and between them we might build up a very much better position, not because of any greater ability on the part of our representative, but merely because he pursues one single general objective that could possibly pay off in big terms.

Don’t bother to answer; this is something we can talk about at our leisure. (?)

As ever,3

  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Eisenhower Diaries. Personal and Confidential.
  2. The President met with V.K. Krishna Menon and Ambassador Mehta on March 15. At this meeting, which Dulles attended, Menon covered a variety of topics. (Ibid., ACW Diary)
  3. The source text is unsigned.