26. Telegram From the Embassy in India to the Department of State1

2646. Embtel 2639.2 In followup conversation with Desai evening March 8, Talbot explained US view of question SC Kashmir debate as set out Deptel 1806 and as also reflected Deptel 1807.3 Desai heard him out and then set out GOI position even more sharply than it had emerged previous day. He said GOI is not going to concur or participate in resumption SC debate at present time and under circumstances of Pak request.

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Furthermore, GOI is not going to discuss Kashmir with GOP at least until communal questions discussed and communal tensions tranquilized. He sought to dramatize importance this matter by citing, among other things, issuance 120,000 migration certificates to residents East Pakistan for removal to India.

On the Kashmir question, Desai said British High Commissioner Gore-Booth had on last day previous debate come to him with proposition India accept reference either in resolution or consensus to past resolutions calling them any name that would suit India. Desai said he had explained that India could take references to resolutions of August 13, 19484 and Jan. 5, 1949,5 but no others; and of course full compliance with all recommendations of these resolutions would be precondition for progress on substance of issue.

Talbot said it would help USG’s thinking in all this to know how far GOI intends to carry integration of Kashmir, public discussion of which in India does not help. Desai said that there is no intention or prospect of repeal of Article 370 of Indian Constitution but he gave impression steps short of this by Kashmir government itself, such as adopting titles chief minister and governor, will probably go ahead.6

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 32–1 INDIA–PAK. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Karachi, London, and USUN.
  2. Telegram 2639 from New Delhi, March 9, reported on the initial meeting Talbot and Bowles had on March 7 with M. J. Desai, Secretary General of the Ministry of External Affairs. Desai laid out India’s objections to a resumption of the Secretary Council debate on Kashmir, and accepted Talbot’s point that the United States could not oppose a request made by any UN member for Security Council consideration of a pressing problem. (Ibid.)
  3. Talbot visited India March 6–10. In telegrams 1806 and 1807 to New Delhi, both March 7, the Department suggested to Talbot that the best line to take with Indian officials concerning the resumption of Security Council debate on Kashmir was that a rapid crystallization of a consensus statement that would not damage the interests of either party would be the best way to minimize debate and avoid further heightening of tension between India and Pakistan. (Telegram 1806 is ibid., telegram 1807 is ibid., POL 7 CHICOM)
  4. Printed in U.S. Participation in the United Nations: Report by the President to the Congress for the Year 1948 (Department of State Publication 3437, 1949).
  5. UN doc. S/1196.
  6. Talbot also discussed the Kashmir issue with Shastri, whom he found to be moderate and impressive in a way that reminded him of former President Truman. (Telegram 2662 from New Delhi, March 11; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 32–1 INDIA–PAK) Talbot discussed the proposed military assistance agreement with Defense Minister Chavan, and emphasized the need for an Indian defense plan that gave primacy to the needs of economic development. (Telegram 2637 from New Delhi, March 9; Johnson Library, National Security Files, Country File, India, Cables, Vol. I, 12/63–11/64) On March 9 Talbot and Bowles paid a courtesy visit to Prime Minister Nehru. Talbot was shocked by Nehru’s mental and psychological deterioration, and reported that “it was quite impossible to communicate with him.” (Telegram 2659 from New Delhi, March 11; ibid.)