147. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in India1

1906. 1. Department, USIA and CIA have given careful thought to most serious problem raised Embtels 18292 and 1849.3 Are inclined agree your analysis most important issue involved is difference between US and Indian foreign policies and Prime Minister’s resentment US efforts spread knowledge in India of basic assumptions and tenets US policy.

As you are of course aware, Indian Embassy and other GOI offices in US continually disseminating informational material with objective obtaining American people’s understanding and support Indian foreign policy. Indian Embassy “Indiagram” (informational bulletin) regularly features long excerpts from Nehru’s official criticisms policies of US and its allies, as in Nehru’s February 25 and March 314 speeches in Lok Sabha, as well as sharper editorial criticisms from Indian newspapers and statements by individual [Page 285] Indians, like C. Rajagopalachari’s5 demand for US to destroy nuclear weapons unilaterally. In attempt explain Indian stand to American people Indiagram consistently carries material critical Portugal and Union of South Africa and recently to Pakistan as result Kashmir border incident. Indiagram has also included texts Chou En-Lai’s statements, and items portraying ChiCom policies in favorable light.

2. According information available Department, USIA and CIA instances of undesirable USG action cited by Pillai contained in numbered paragraphs 1, 3 and 4 of Embtel 1829 are completely without foundation. No US Governmental agency has engaged in transaction Pratap or The People such as that cited reftel. Moreover all US agencies assert they have made no attempt publicize Mrs. Hutheesing’s article which appeared Ladies’ Home Journal.

Re numbered paragraph 2 Embtel 1829 USIA unable identify newspaper articles referred to. There is of course possibility Karachi newspapers and Pratap might have utilized on same day same handout by USIS critical of Chou En-Lai and other Chinese Communist leaders. These sent in daily wireless files beginning June 26 and included editorial roundup June 30 with Indian as well as other press comment on Nehru-Chou Delhi meeting and continued with decreasing frequency through August. USIS Delhi would have record of its releases and Karachi could supply its record.

Furthermore no USG agency has undertaken any activity having as its objective the undermining of the standing of Nehru with Indian people. Support of Nehru’s Government is US national policy approved at highest level.

3. Department concurs your recommendations contained Embtel 1849 re line you might take with GOI in response Pillai’s demarche. Department, USIA particularly impressed probable effectiveness argument USIS has devoted considerable portion its activities in India to support GOI policies. Following are additional suggestions you might wish consider:

As specific “instances” of improper USG action cited by Pillai were contrary to fact US would appreciate opportunity investigate any such reports GOI might receive in future. It is in interest both countries that such reports be carefully sifted in order reach truth, particularly since persons attempting undermine interests both India and US may be endeavoring discredit US in India.
In order convince Pillai thoroughness and fairness our investigation his charges Embassy might wish admit possibility similar articles critical Chou En-Lai might have appeared in Indian and Pakistan newspapers same day. As Pillai must be aware, US sends [Page 286] many countries identical articles for dissemination newspapers in accordance practice all countries including India.
In order obviate any doubts GOI re activities USIS India you might offer have one of your officers review with Pillai or representative designated by him all USIS activities in India in certainty they are in accordance practices all free nations in informational field and will receive approval GOI.
When book translation program initiated in India, GOI was informed. This is evidence US good faith and desire not engage in activities repugnant GOI.
It is fundamental to freedom that divergent views may be expressed. As noted above GOI engages this activity in US. Before restricting bona fide activities of both governments this field, hope GOI will seriously examine where such policy might lead.

Kennedy6 has seen this telegram.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.91/5–2555. Secret. Drafted by Jones, approved by Allen, and cleared with the USIA and NEA.
  2. Document 145.
  3. Supra.
  4. In his March 31 address, Nehru condemned the practice of viewing everything from a Communist or anti-Communist perspective and was critical of regional defense pacts, atomic weapons, racialism, and the alleged tendency of the Western powers to intrude in Asian affairs. (Telegrams 1443 and 1444 from New Delhi, April 1 and April 2, respectively; Department of State, Central Files, 691.00/4–155 and 791.00(W)/ 4–255)
  5. Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, an Indian elder statesman, formerly Governor-General of India, Minister without Portfolio, Minister of Home Affairs, and Chief Minister of Madras.
  6. Donald D. Kennedy was Counselor of Embassy in India with the personal rank of Minister. He was at the Department of State briefly from June 15 before being assigned to Sydney as Consul General on August 15.