240. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon1


1. Briefing of Senate Leadership on India–Pakistan—I met with the Senate leadership for almost an hour this afternoon to review the events leading up to the India-Pakistan war and to further explain U.S. efforts and policies.2 I first outlined the general course of events and particularly stressed the repeated efforts that the Administration had made to dissuade the Indian Government from the use of military force in East Pakistan. I also noted the suggestions which we have made to President Yahya and his receptivity on a number of them.

I then explained the reasons for the action earlier today in suspending $87.6 million in general economic aid in the Indian pipeline. I stressed our policy of not becoming involved and noted the long history [Page 677] of hatreds and problems in the area which were not of our doing. I reiterated the support we have had in the Security Council and noted our forthcoming efforts to take the issue to the General Assembly.

Senator Fulbright was the first to say that he thought we were doing exactly the right thing in not becoming involved and he said he had no criticism of U.S. policy. Senator Stennis said that he wanted to express very strong support for the Presidentʼs policies.

Also present and in accord were Senators Mansfield, Scott, Griffin, Smith, Cotton, Aiken and Allott.

[Omitted here is an analysis of issues unrelated to South Asia.]

Robert Miller 3
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 37, Presidentʼs Daily Briefs, Dec 1–Dec 16, 1971. Secret. A stamp on the memorandum indicates the President saw it.
  2. In a telephone conversation with President Nixon the evening of December 6, Kissinger expressed concern about the tenor of the briefing Rogers gave to the Senators. He wanted a report on the briefing to make certain that Rogers had not suggested that there was “a White House–State confrontation” over the crisis. Nixon agreed that it would pose a problem if the Department of State created the impression that “we take the hard line and they take the softer line.” (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File)
  3. Deputy Executive Secretary Robert Miller signed for Rogers.