208. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in India0

2196. Eyes Only for the Ambassador. Unless you think it inappropriate, please deliver the following message to Prime Minister Nehru as soon as feasible.

“Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

I was on the point of responding to your two urgent letters1 when we received news of the Chinese statements on a cease-fire.2 I, of course, wish your assessment of whether it makes any change in your situation. I had planned to write you that we are ready to be as responsive as possible [Page 404]to your needs, in association with the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. We remain prepared to do so.

We had already organized a small group of top U.S. officials, who would arrive in New Delhi Friday,3 to help Ambassador Galbraith in concerting with your government how we can best help. It seems useful to go ahead with this effort as planned and we will do so unless you think it inadvisable.”

FYI: The team is one described in Deptel 2170.4 Full details are being sent separately. You might suggest to Nehru that even under changed circumstances the team would be useful as a tangible gesture of US support.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 691.93/11-2062. Secret; Niact. Drafted by Komer, cleared by Talbot and Rusk, and approved by the President.
  2. See Documents 203 and 204.
  3. On November 21, the Chinese Government announced that a cease-fire would be observed by Chinese forces along the entire Himalayan front as of midnight on that date. Chinese forces would be withdrawn and checkpoints would be established. Provided the Indian Government took corresponding measures, China was prepared to enter into negotiations with India to seek a resolution of the conflict. (The New York Times, November 21, 1962)
  4. The group, headed by Averell Harriman and including Paul Nitze, Carl Kaysen, Roger Hilsman, and General Paul D. Adams, arrived on Thursday, November 22.
  5. Document 205.