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

2168. Acting Secretary Ball called in Ambassador Nehru today on American reaction to Goa. Said he hoped Ambassador informing his government fully of American views so there would be no misunderstanding of problems we face following Indian action. In response to Ambassador’s question Ball said he not distinguishing between US Government’s views and non-official opinion because our ability achieve our governmental goals greatly influenced by Congressional and public opinion. Full effect of Goa action on American opinion yet to become evident but we particularly concerned about impact on many facets U.S. policy, notably our support of UN including Congo operation and our foreign aid program. Additionally, we fear “chain reaction” on thinking of other nations on disputed territories elsewhere, as in West New Guinea. Forces in US opposed to present policies would cite Indian action as further argument we on wrong track. Added personal view that Krishna Menon visit to New York just now further complicates the situation. Looks as if by sending or allowing Menon come straight to New York GOI flaunting its action in Goa rather than, as it has argued, cleaning up a “necessary” situation as quickly and tidily as possible.

Ambassador stated he had already reported many of these points [and] would restate them to his government as views of USG.1

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 753D.00/12-2361. Secret; Niact. Drafted by Talbot and approved by Ball. Repeated to Lisbon.
  2. On December 29, Prime Minister Nehru sent an 8-page letter to President Kennedy justifying India’s absorption of the Portuguese colonies. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, India, Nehru Correspondence, 11/1/61-1/14/62)