28. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in India 1

2485. US–UK talks, April 16–18, reflected large measure agreement in assessment and approaches to Indo-Pak problems. Summary minutes being pouched.2 Highlights included:

Orientation. While noting British concern at rising strength internal Communism in India and complacency Congress party, James 3 said British encouraged by recent trend favorable to West in Indian foreign policy. In Pakistan, Noon’s March speech symptom of growing frustration. However, since Soviets will continue to cater to India as primary target, British doubt any major shift in Pak orientation. Brits believe Paks will continue as “grumbling allies”.
Package Approach. Referring to constructive remarks by Amjad Ali and Krishnamachari last fall, Rountree outlined US belief that Indo-Pak problems not likely be solved as isolated issues but should be approached in integrated fashion. He indicated USG has no preconceived solutions for elements such package program but we had been considering general principles. On final day of talks, Rountree suggested we might have further observations concerning package approach by time James completes Ottawa visit. Rountree indicated Department would try let James know April 24 whether Washington stopover on his return to London might be useful.4 (Package proposal now at White House for clearance.)
Kashmir. Consensus was Security Council debate would merely exacerbate tensions, not bring Kashmir issue closer to solution, tend diminish prestige of Security Council and weaken UNCIP resolutions as main protection for Pak position. If Security Council action unavoidable, most desirable form of action was deemed to be promotion by Council of bilateral negotiations between two parties outside UN. If possible, this should be accomplished without formal debate or passage of resolution. It should not, however, prejudice further Security Council consideration this question.
Canal Waters. Continuing support for IBRD efforts was agreed. While numerous technical aspects Bank plan still obscure, Nehru tunnel plan favorably mentioned because it appears be less costly and more feasible from engineering standpoint. Solution reached should include built-in safe-guards such as water treaty incorporating some type commission with neutral participation to operate on spot and take remedial action expeditiously. British, like US, believe Paks should be discouraged from raising issue at Security Council. It was noted that both Kashmir and canal waters issues were so closely related that perhaps they might most realistically be considered as a single complex.
Arms Limitation. While agreeing arms limitation desirable, British believed it unwise for Brits or Americans seek actively encourage such limitation on grounds Indians and Paks would bitterly resent such action as undue interference. Brits believed only available course is present policy of discouraging on ad hoc basis such moves as Pak procurement of subs. British agreed, however, that, if Kashmir and Indus questions resolved, sufficient mutual confidence might result to permit agreement on some arms limitation scheme.
Bombers. British clearly ready sell Canberras to Paks on terms identical those applied to India. Would be commercial deal with English Electric but would include UKG export guarantee. Current negotiations involve 42 Canberras, 30 of which operational, others training [Page 84] and reconnaissance. Delivery would begin in late 1959 or early 1960 (only slightly earlier than deliveries contemplated under 1954 light bomber commitment). James outlined UK policy of selling arms to Commonwealth countries impartially and virtually on unrestricted basis. He insisted Canberra deal with GOP would be on commercial basis and credit terms would be those extended by English Electric. UKG he said under no circumstances would provide financing either grant or loan. Both UK and US conferees surmised Amjad and Ayub will utilize forthcoming visits London and Washington to generate pressure for early bomber delivery under most favorable terms.

FYI—“Package deal” as such mentioned only hypothetically and in most general terms. Should not be discussed with your British colleagues prior Department authorization.5

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 690D.91/4–2258. Secret. Drafted by Meyer and approved by Rountree. Also sent to Karachi and London.
  2. Minutes of the talks are ibid., SOA Files: Lot 62 D 43, Package. Briefing materials for the talks are ibid., Proposed U.S.-U.K. Talks.
  3. J.M.C. (Morrice) James, Assistant to the Permanent Under Secretary of State in the Commonwealth Relations Office and head of the British delegation during the discussions.
  4. See infra .
  5. In telegram 2553 to New Delhi (also sent to Karachi), May 1, the Department reported that British Embassy representatives had conveyed to Rountree their government’s formal endorsement of the proposed package proposal and left with the Department a message from the Foreign Office which contained “several constructive suggestions.” The Department authorized the Embassies in New Delhi and Karachi to consult with their British colleagues on a continuing basis regarding the package project. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.90/5–158)