33. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, November 27, 19561


  • Views of the Pakistan Foreign Minister on India


  • The Acting Secretary
  • Malik Firoz Khan Noon, Pakistan Foreign Minister
  • NEAWilliam M. Rountree
  • Mohammed Ali, Pakistan Ambassador
  • Agha Shahi, Counselor of Pakistan Embassy
  • SOAGarrett H. Soulen

The Foreign Minister expressed concern over the sale of 60 Canberra bombers and 300 Centurion tanks to India and stated he had discussed this with Prime Minister Eden who tried to reassure him by saying that deliveries of these items would be spread over a period of years.

Mr. Hoover replied it was his understanding that one factor in the decision of Britain to sell this type of military equipment to India had been the definite probability that India would have obtained them from the USSR if they were not made available from free-world sources. Mr. Noon remarked that American aid to India saved India’s foreign exchange which in turn was used to buy arms from the UK or USSR and that in case of war Pakistan would stand four-square with the US and that India on the other hand will “attack Pakistan and there go your friends.” Mr. Hoover replied that for many years the US has been friends with both India and Pakistan, that war between India and Pakistan would be most unfortunate and that US policy with respect to both countries was designed to facilitate better relations between the two.

The Foreign Minister referred to Pakistan’s difficulties with India over Kashmir and the Canal Waters dispute and expressed the hope that President Eisenhower would be able to discuss these matters with Nehru during the latter’s visit to the United States.

At that point Ambassador Ali expressed his Government’s concern that Mr. Nehru while in the US would endeavor to undermine US military aid to Pakistan by offering to reduce India’s military expenditures if the US curtailed military aid to Pakistan. Mr. Noon urged that the US reply to Mr. Nehru with the suggestion that he permit a UN plebiscite in Kashmir and settle the Canal Waters [Page 98] dispute after which “the US can guarantee that Pakistan will conclude a permanent peace treaty with you.”

Mr. Rountree in replying to the Foreign Minister’s earlier reference to US aid to India and neutralist countries: (a) Cited our extensive aid to countries with whom we have special ties such as Turkey, Greece, Iran and Pakistan; (b) added that there was a great deal of misunderstanding on the scope of our aid to committed vs. non-committed countries; (c) stated that our aid programs for Pakistan were larger than for India.

A separate memorandum of conversation covering the Foreign Minister’s remarks on the Baghdad Pact and the Suez Situation has been prepared.

  1. Source: Department of State, NEA Files: Lot 58 D 545, Pakistan. Secret. Drafted on November 30 by Soulen.