161. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Department of State1
Dulte 15. For Acting Secretary from Secretary. I have not had much time to think about Nehru’s visit but submit following for such use if any as you and Rountree may feel it deserves.
I assume that Nehru’s purpose will be first of all to develop cordial personal relations.2 However back of this will lie the following concrete objectives:
- To reduce our military and political support of Pakistan. Hatred and fear of Pakistan is, I think, Nehru’s dominant sentiment.
- To seek increased US sympathy and financial backing for India’s second Five-Year Plan.
- To get the US to support India against Portugal with reference to Goa.
- To win for India a measure of favor and “peaceful coexistence” with Communist China by acting as mediator between US and Communist China with respect to recognition, admission to UN, and status of Formosa and off-shore islands.
- To get US to follow India’s policies in Middle East which are competitive with those of Pakistan, particularly as evidenced by Baghdad Pact.
All of these concrete objectives will be interlarded with much philosophy about colonialism, evils of military groupings, and need to assist underdeveloped countries.
It seems to me that our purposes should be:
- To develop good will and understanding of our policies.
- To do so without statements which will hereafter be interpreted as Presidential commitments for money or anti-Pakistan or pro-Chinese Communist policies. (I fear there is considerable danger that general conversation and general expressions of sympathy and understanding will be injected into memoranda dictated by Nehru and perhaps transmitted to other Indian officials and Ambassadors, as is Nehru’s habit, and this may be a basis for future difficulty and misunderstanding.)
- To seek that Nehru understands our attitude of supporting UN standards of conduct as against Soviet disregard and to make him feel that we are entitled to India’s support on this basic matter.
- Explain again our attitude toward recognition and UN seating of Communist China in the light of their continued holding of US prisoners, refusal to renounce force, violations of Korean Armistice, and failure to purge themselves of aggression against the UN.
- Preserve “neutrality” as between Portugal and India. (The Portuguese are highly nervous and this affects their attitude toward Azores bases.)
Foregoing is concededly superficial but is my best response to suggestion I comment on prospective Presidential briefing.3
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.9111/12–1256. Top Secret. The source text bears a notation that a copy of this telegram was sent to the White House on December 12. Dulles was in Paris for the North Atlantic Council meeting.↩
- Mehta met with Hoover and others on December 10 to indicate his hope that there would be no fixed agenda thus permitting the President and Nehru to engage in talks on a “‘man-to-man’ basis”. (Memorandum of conversation by Robert Anderson of the Office of South Asian Affairs, December 10; ibid., 033.9111/12–1056)↩
- In a memorandum for the President’s information
dated December 14, Senator Cooper emphasized the improved perception of the
United States in India, which in large measure derived from the U.S.
stand in the Suez affair. Adding to the friendlier opinion, he
asserted, was the Indian disillusionment with the Soviets resulting
from developments in Hungary. Success could be achieved, Cooper maintained, if Nehru left the United States with
the impression that he had discussed all the subjects he had in mind
and had received a sympathetic reception. Cooper concluded that a great
impression could be made on Nehru by the President taking an interest in India’s
economic requirements. (Ibid.,
NEA/SOA Files: Lot 59 D 575, Nehru Visit—1956)
The Embassy relayed the views of Frank Moraes, editor of the Times of India, in telegram 1631 from New Delhi, December 11. Moraes had reported the substance of his conversations with Indian leaders, including Nehru. One of the major topics he had raised was the bad effect Menon was having on U.S.-Indian relations. Nehru refused direct comment on this matter. (Ibid., Central Files, 611.91/12–1156)↩