277. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in India1

54905. Subject: Visit of Dalai Lama. For Ambassador From the Secretary. Ref: (A) New Delhi 04018;2 (B) State 50041.3

I value your forthright discussion of Dalai Lama visit and have reexamined question in light of your recommendations. However, I must reaffirm decision, which was made by President, that we do not wish to have Dalai Lama come to U.S. this year and ask that you arrange to inform Tibetans of this as soon as possible, following guidance ref B.
In considering pros and cons of 1970 visit, we have carefully weighed all factors, including those highlighted by your message, in our relations with both GOI and Tibetans against factors pertaining to Communist China. Regarding past USG encouragement of such a visit, [Page 1145] [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] has been able to turn up any oral or written confirmation that we have given such encouragement in recent years.
In conveying our attitude about visit to Tibetans, we would make clear, pursuant ref B, that we would want to consider visit seriously next year and that we have not altered our traditional sympathetic attitude toward people of Tibet or our plans to continue substantial financial aid to refugees. (No specific U.S. commitment for visit should, however, be implied.)
Both Dalai Lama and GOI presumably have been aware for some years that relations with Communist China have inevitably been an element in our approach to Tibetan question. We believe that both parties will understand—even if Tibetans do not approve—that USG must give this weight. This aspect of course is of growing concern to us not only because of our developing dialogue in Warsaw but now because of increasingly explicit Peking involvement in politically complicated and vexing situation in SEA. These current significant problems involving both USG and PRC militate against a visit this year from which we would derive no counterbalancing gain. We hope that situation may be different next year.
We would not want to schedule visit later this year because of coincidence of UNGA, including celebration of 25th anniversary of UN which will witness procession of visiting dignitaries.4
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 30 TIBET. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Thayer on April 10; cleared by Kreisberg, Brown, Schneider (NEA/INC), and Getz (J); and approved by Rogers. This telegram reflects the advice of Green and Christopher Van Hollen (NEA), as explained in their April 10 memorandum to Rogers. (Ibid.)
  2. Document 276.
  3. See footnote 4, Document 275.
  4. This message was followed up by telegram 55544 to New Delhi, April 15, which reads in full: “In conveying U.S. views on Dalai Lama visit, you of course should not mention Presidential involvement in decision.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 30 TIBET)