241. Letter From President Eisenhower to Prime Minister Nehru1

Dear Mr. Prime Minister: AS you know, I am currently engaged in a round of visits in Europe, prior to receiving Chairman Khrushchev in the United States.

I am pleased to be able to tell you that my talks with Chancellor Adenauer and Prime Minister Macmillan have been most useful, as I expect will be my talks with President de Gaulle. I have been strengthened and heartened in my determination to explore every possible [Page 514] avenue which might lead to a just and lasting peace by the first hand reaffirmation of common aims and basic unity which my trip is providing.

In the midst of these talks, I have been distressed to learn from your statements in Parliament that India is experiencing serious trouble with the Chinese Communist regime over border incursions and certain matters concerning Tibet. These difficulties are of concern to India’s friends and, indeed, to all peace-loving countries.

Last September 11 in a speech to the American people, I had occasion to comment on other actions then being taken by the Chinese Communist regime.2 I said that we, on our part, believe that we should never abandon negotiation and conciliation in favor of force and strife. It is distressing, now, to observe that once again the Chinese Communist regime is acting in disregard of that principle.

I would like you to know that I am personally following these events with concern, and that I fully appreciate the problems which they have created for you.

I appreciated very much my opportunity to see Madame Pandit yesterday and to learn directly from her some of the circumstances of these border violations.3 During our talk, I was especially grateful for your cordial invitation to me to come to India, which she conveyed.4

With expression of my high esteem, warm regard,


Dwight D. Eisenhower5
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 711.11–EI/9–259. Secret; Presidential Handling. Transmitted to New Delhi in telegram 23 from Paris, September 2. Telegram 23 was repeated to the Department of State as Cahto 10, which is the source text. Tocah 13 to London, September 1, approved by Acting Secretary Dillon, transmitted the draft text of the letter from Eisenhower to Nehru. The cable reads in part as follows: “Believe Prime Minister Nehru would deeply appreciate at this juncture personal message from President expressing concern over Chicom-Indian developments.” (Ibid., 691.93/9–159) The draft text was approved without change. Eisenhower and Herter were in Great Britain, August 27–September 2, and in Paris, September 2-4.
  2. For text of this speech, see Department of State Bulletin, September 29, 1958, pp. 481–484.
  3. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Nehru’s sister, was the Indian High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, Ambassador to Ireland, and concurrently Ambassador to Spain. No record of her conversation with Eisenhower has been found.
  4. In telegram 786 from New Delhi, September 4, Brown reported that he delivered Eisenhower’s letter to Nehru that day. (Department of State, Central Files, 711.11–EI/9–459)
  5. Canto 10 bears this typed signature.