235. Editorial Note

On June 25, at the 411th meeting of the National Security Council, Allen Dulles discussed developments in Kerala during his intelligence briefing:

“Agitation against the Communist Government of the Kerala State in India has continued to be quite strong. Fortunately for us, the Communist Government in that State had made a number of grave mistakes. They had put 6,300 people in prison and fourteen had been killed. Nehru had gone down to Kerala to look the situation over. He has the theoretical power to take over the State Government but he is obviously loath to do so if he can avoid the step. We do not know precisely what Nehru will do but our guess is that he will do nothing. If this guess is correct, it is very unlikely that local agitation alone will prove sufficient to oust the Communist Government. Meanwhile, these developments have posed a very grave issue for the entire Congress Party in India. The Party is split right down the middle as to whether to throw out the Kerala Communists or not.” (Memorandum of discussion by Gleason; Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records)

At the 412th meeting of the NSC, on July 9, Dulles again discussed the Kerala situation during his intelligence briefing:

“As for the campaign against the Communist Government in Kerala State in India, Mr. Dulles said that it was gaining steadily in intensity. Meanwhile Nehru was still trying to decide whether he should throw out the Communist Government and institute presidential government from New Delhi. Nehru obviously does not wish to do this but may ultimately be forced to take the step.” (Memorandum of discussion by Gleason; ibid.)