90. Memorandum of Conversation, Department of State, Washington, February 27, 1962, 3:04 p.m.1
- His Excellency B.K. Nehru, Ambassador of India
- The Secretary
- Mr. James R Grant, Deputy Assistant Secretary, NEA
- Mr. Rogers B. Horgan, Office of South Asian Affairs
Ambassador Nehru made what was essentially a courtesy call on the Secretary immediately prior to his return to India for a fortnightʼs consultation. After the usual pleasantries, the Secretary raised the subject of Vietnam.
The Secretary reviewed briefly the United States position regarding Vietnam, emphasizing that the US did not wish the trouble in Vietnam to become a serious war. He said that if the ICC can find a way of stopping penetrations from the North, the US would work diligently to bring the situation back in line with the Geneva Accords. We recognize the problem posed to the ICC by our overt assistance to South Vietnam, but we cannot fail to take account of the reality of the covert violations of the Geneva Accords by the other side.
The Ambassador indicated that both in New Delhi and in Vietnam itself the Indians had some difficulties because of the extreme visibility of our assistance. The Ambassador, however, repudiated the Secretaryʼs suggestion that perhaps the Indian Chairman of the ICC [Page 184]would prefer to dose his eyes to violations on both sides. The Secretary then explored the Indian position with regard to the ICCʼs responsibilities toward investigating subversion. The Ambassador indicated his belief that India held the view that subversion as such was not the concern of the ICC; it became a matter for the ICC only when it could be shown that it came from the outside.
The Ambassador asked whether there was anything specific the United States wished India to do in Vietnam. He would be glad to convey these desires to New Delhi. The Secretary said what we wished was for the ICC to get at the violations coming from the North if it can do so. Mr. Grant added it was our hope the ICC would not make charges against the GVN right now, at least until it answered complaints that have been made against the North.
The Secretary wondered whether our side had been getting to the ICC all the information we can on these complaints.
It was left for Mr. Grant to inform himself on this matter and to have specific information for the Ambassador regarding the type of ICC action the US felt should be taken now. (Mr. Grant talked further to the Ambassador on this subject the following day and left with him the attached paper.)
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751K.00/2-2762. Confidential. Drafted by Grant and Horgan. Approved in S on March 6. A note at the top of the first page indicates that this is the first of two parts. Part II is not attached to the source text, but another account of the meeting transmitted to McGeorge Bundy in the White House under a memorandum of February 28 for the Presidentʼs perusal prior to his 11:30 meeting with Nehru contains a second section on Kashmir. (Ibid.) The text of the section on Vietnam is identical with that printed here except for the final sentence, which is missing in the version transmitted to the White House. The attachment is also missing from the White House version. No record of the Presidentʼs meeting with Nehru has been found.↩
- See Foreign Relations, 1961-1963, vol. I, Document 315.↩
- Printed in American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1961, p. 1056.↩