131. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 0

6452. Deptel 6441.1 There follows for you information text of President’s reply to Prime Minister’s letter of June 4:

“I am very grateful for your 4 June message about fighters for India. If we concert some plan for a counter offer in time to forestall the MIG-21 deal it will be effort well spent.

I am concerned, however, lest Nehru approve the MIG purchase before we have time to counter it. Galbraith has been promised no final action would be taken until he returns around 15 June. However, we also have reports that it is practically buttoned up. Therefore I would hope that when Gore-Booth sees Nehru on 7 June, he could at least mention that a favorable U.K. offer was in the wind, and seek assurances that no decision would be taken until it could be fully considered. This could help to get us the necessary time.”

President’s reply was sent directly to Prime Minister.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 791.5622/6-462. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution; Verbatim Text. Drafted by Cameron, cleared by U. Alexis Johnson in draft and with the White House, and approved by Talbot.
  2. Document 130.