34. Letter From President Eisenhower to Prime Minister Nehru and President Mirza 1

Dear Prime Minister (Mr. President): You are aware, I am sure, of the concern I have had during the last few years over the economic problems which face both India and Pakistan and which continue to resist easy solution. I have long admired the resolute manner in which both countries have tackled the complex of difficulties facing them and the United States has given, I think, ample evidence of willingness to provide financial and technical assistance in various forms. The people of the United States have expressed their basic sympathy with your people by supporting these actions. I am confident that this understanding will continue unabated.

It is, however, a source of real concern to us that the effective economic development of both countries is being hindered by the continued existence of unresolved political and economic issues. The consequences are that both countries are now devoting increasing amounts to their defense budgets at the expense of development, and that mutually profitable economic cooperation is much lessened.

I am convinced that the national interest of both Pakistan and India make it highly desirable that mutually acceptable solutions of the major outstanding issues be found. The peaceful, progressive economic development which each nation desires and which the foreign [Page 101] assistance program of the United States is designed to promote cannot succeed if these issues remain unresolved. In order to utilize the available resources of our three countries most effectively for the common good, I am writing you personally to offer the friendly assistance of my Government to help in exploring the possibility of setting these major issues which are crucial to good relations between India and Pakistan (Pakistan and India) and to the peaceful, cooperative development of the area.

I have asked Ambassador Bunker (Langley) to deliver this letter to you in person and to arrange for negotiations if you desire. I have asked Ambassador Langley (Bunker) to do likewise with the President of Pakistan (Prime Minister of India).

If you and Ambassador Bunker (Langley) agree that it would be helpful, I should be glad to designate a special representative to visit India (Pakistan) for further general talks with you. You and I could then determine whether it might be useful for the United States to continue its good offices in helping bring about more formal and detailed negotiations. I cannot forget that this was a procedure which proved of considerable value in resolving the serious Trieste question. An important part of any such procedure must, I think, be its confidential character.

If negotiations are undertaken and successfully concluded, I pledge my Government to help in any way that it can in making the settlement effective and in assuring that it contributes to the economic development of India and Pakistan (Pakistan and India).

I cannot emphasize too strongly my deep personal concern with this problem and my great desire, and that of the American people, to help bring about its solution. We have a strong historic association with the people of the subcontinent. I hope very much, Mr. Prime Minister (President), that you will feel that I and my country can be of service in a further endeavor to promote their peace and well-being.


Dwight D. Eisenhower 2
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 690D.91/5–258. Secret; Presidential Handling. Transmitted in telegram 2569 to New Delhi, also sent as 2771 to Karachi, for immediate delivery, the time of presentation to be coordinated by Bunker and Langley. Telegram 2569, which is the source text, was drafted by Nicholl, approved by Rountree, and repeated to London.
  2. Telegram 2569 bears this typed signature. The telegram concluded with instructions for Ambassador Langley to deliver a copy of the President’s letter to Prime Minister Noon and included the text of a short covering note from the President to Noon.