33. Memorandum From the Secretary of State to the President 1


  • Approach to the Governments of India and Pakistan regarding the United States proposal for lessening tensions between the two countries

You will be pleased to hear that the British have wholeheartedly endorsed our proposal looking toward the lessening of tensions between India and Pakistan.

In spite of a last minute suggestion by the Embassy in New Delhi that we delay initiating our approach until Prime Minister Nehru returns from his vacation, I recommend that you authorize the Department to proceed as planned, and to instruct the Ambassadors concerned to deliver immediately your letters to Prime Minister Nehru and President Mirza. The greater the delay in making our initial approach, the greater will be the chance that the important security factor may be compromised. I am also anxious to attempt to forestall futile Security Council debates on either Kashmir or the Indus problems, prior to initiation of our approach. Pakistan has already indicated it may wish to raise these issues in that forum.

If you agree to the immediate initiation of our proposal, the Department recommends that, in addition to transmitting your letter to President Mirza, Ambassador Langley also be authorized to transmit a copy of that letter to Prime Minister Noon, under cover of a short letter [Page 100] to Mr. Noon from yourself. A suggested text of such a transmitting letter is enclosed for your approval.2

John Foster Dulles 3
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 690D.91/5–2558. Secret. Drafted by Bartlett on May 1.
  2. The draft letter to Noon is not printed. On May 2, Dulles met with Eisenhower and discussed, among other matters, the India-Pakistan package proposal. According to a memorandum of that conversation, drafted by the Secretary, Eisenhower agreed with Dulles’ recommendation that the United States should proceed at once with the proposal; the President also approved the draft letter to Noon. (Ibid., Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199)
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this stamped signature.