19. Letter From Prime Minister Nehru to President Kennedy0

No. 237-PMO/16

My Dear Mr. President, I write to thank you for the generous approach which the United States Government has made in regard to the assistance to India for her Third Five Year Plan. The United States Ambassador here has informed us that at the meeting convened by the World Bank, the United States Government offered a thousand million dollars by way of aid to India for the first two years of the Third Five Year Plan. This aid is in addition to the large quantities of wheat and rice which have already been promised under PL-480. A special feature of the United States aid to India’s development plans, which we appreciate greatly and which is of particular value to us, is that repayments in foreign exchange have been reduced to the minimum.

The United States Ambassador has pointed out to our Planning Commission the importance of allowing the recipient of aid the maximum flexibility in regard to the purposes for which the funds can be utilised. This is particularly welcome to us. In the past, credits from the [Page 40]Development Loan Fund have been available mainly for the purchase of capital goods in the U.S.A. We have, during the Second Five Year Plan, built up certain capital goods industries ourselves. These depend upon the import of raw materials and components not available from indigenous sources which we hope the D.L.F. will finance. There are also other needs of ours which we require for development and which are not in the nature of capital goods, e.g., fertilisers for our agricultural economy. We are anxious, therefore, to have as much flexibility as is possible in regard to the use of these funds.

May I thank you again, Mr. President, for your generous approach to our problems and also for exercising your country’s great influence on the other participants of the aid programme so as to raise the quantum of aid to a level which will be commensurate with India’s needs for the execution of her Third Five Year Plan.

With warm regards and good wishes,

Yours sincerely,

Jawaharlal Nehru
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, President’s Office Files, Countries Series, India, 1961. No classification marking.