273. Telegram 8245 From the Embassy in India to the Department of State 1 2


  • Secretary Connally’s Meeting With Indian Foreign Minister. July 4, 1972

Summary: In meeting with Foreign Minister, Secretary Connally reviewed areas he has covered in earlier visits. Conversation became franker and sharper as it progressed. We believe it was a healthy exchange. End summary

Secretary Connally accompanied by Hennessy, Van Hollen, Donley, Hoskinson, Ambassador and DCM held one hand a half hour meeting with Foreign Minister Swaran Singh, July 4. [Page 2] In addition to Foreign Minister, Indian Ambassador to U.S. L.K. Jha, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Haksar, Foreign Secretary T.N. Kaul, Secretary Finance I.G. Patel and Menon and Arora of Americas Division MEA, also present.
After extending “very hearty welcome” to Secretary and after expressing happiness at his visit, Foreign Minister said he would be happier still if relations between our two countries could be brought back to the stage at which they began. Secretary responded by expressing appreciation and explained that he had come at President’s request with no precept for discussions, except in a general way. He was prepared to give details about President’s visits to Peking and Moscow, to talk about changes in the IMF, and international economic and trade matters, as well as the U.S. domestic economic situation. Finally he was prepared to talk about relations between U.S. and India. He sought Indian views on future of relations in South Asian area.
At Foreign Minister’s invitation Secretary Connally proceeded to describe most significant aspects of President’s visits to Peking and Moscow, reviewed international monetary developments, growth of protectionism in international trade, and reviewed U.S. domestic economic situation in similar terms to presentations he has made during his previous visits.
Foreign Minister responded by welcoming relaxation of tensions between U.S. and China but expressed concern allegedly from some US allies that result might be to upset stabilizing forces in Asian context. He also alluded to Indian dislike of reference to Kashmir in Shanghi communique but added that State Department had clarified that this reference made at Chinese initiative and did not represent any change in US position.
With regard President’s Moscow visit GOI had officially been informed by U.S. and also heard from Soviets. Appreciated that results were product of long negotiations and to extent agreements formalized GOI regarded it as positive development. Foreign Minister said agreement on SALT welcome though he felt this represented strenthening of “nuclear club” which was only limited gain for world as a whole since [Page 3] it was seen as real limitation on existing armaments. He added that PRC and France don’t have accepted. This lacuna required resolution if the world to be saved from nuclear devestation.
Swaran Singh commented approvingly that more affluent of the world developing greater understanding. Unfortunatly situation in Asia continued to be source of concern. GOI had feeling that Moscow visit implied freeze as a far as a West Asia (Middle East) concerned. Regarding Vietnam he welcomed latest possibility of resumption of talks.
With regard to international monetary situation he said GOI “watched with some anxiety” as situation developed. Now that sterling was in trouble they had other anxieties. “They broadly accepted” that the international monetary system should involve developing countries. The development of protectionist attitudes among developed countries was a matter of even greater anxiety to the developed world since latter dependent on developed countries to carry on their economic development. Indian experience had been that cost of development became higher and higher in developing countries in terms of real effort. Advancements in science and technology were not equally shared between developed and developing countries. This he said was “not conducive to peace and good will in the world”. Pattern of economic relations would have to evolve in a suitable climate where cost of development would not become “unconscionable”.
Secretary Connally said we would welcome any specific suggestions regarding structures of international monetary system. U.S. had contributed dols 150 billion to economic developments of rest of the world in past quarter century. Foreign Minister claimed American friends had told him that US spent billions to destroy others and then billions to build them back up again. Secretary confirmed that in World Wars I and II we had indeed participated in destruction of tyranny and despotism. US had no territorial claims on anyone and no desire to have a predominent influence in any part of South Asia. He then alluded to press speculation that massive US assistance to Bangladesh intended to pull Bangladesh away from India. Secretary commented that if we hadn’t provided such relief [Page 4] assistance we would have been accused of not doing our share. Foreign Minister rejoined that Bangladesh had tremendous problems and the GOI welcomed relief and rehibilitation assistance from any source.
Secretary added US had no sphere of influence and proceeded to compliment Foreign Minister on success of Simla summit, which he said was “very much to your credit”. No one other than the two countries concerned could have done it. The US wanted all countries to pursue their own course in their own way. India had a rich experience in the democratic [Page 5] process which we applauded. Foreign Minister said there was little he could add to these fine sentiments. India’s relations with all its neighbors were very good except for China and Pakistan. Support that Pakistan had received “from certain quarters” did not permit them to see reality of the situation. He said they were keen to forget that chapter and there now “may be possibility” of creating situation with good neighborly relations. In the past “serious sources” had discouraged Pakistan from discussing problems between the two countries bilaterally. At Simla they had impressed on President Bhutto that it was up to the two countries to turn a new leaf. GOI attached great importance to the new agreement.
India had given evidence that it had no hostile intentions toward Pakistan by calling for a unilateral ceasefire on December 16, 1971 and by its agreement to an exchange of territory along the international borders. They had made it clear they had no territorial claims against Pakistan without even asking for quid pro quo. In essence Simla Agreement meant India was asking Pakistan nothing more than to recreate norms of good behavior. They had avoided rehashing the past in the hope there would develop a durable peace.
Swaran Singh said they respected President Bhutto as a “democratically elected leader” in West Pakistan and the attached great importance to the stabilization of democracy in both Pakistan and Bangladesh. US could make contribution to this process.
Foreign Minister said that any support to Pakistan in a military sense would not be a factor for peace. This had been tried and had resulted in conflict. It had not helped either India or Pakistan. This was an area where Indian position was dependent to large extent on the attitude of other countries. If military assistance extended by us, it would retard peace and could deflect Pakistan from new course of which both countries now embarked.
Secretary interjected to remind Foreign Minister that US had stopped supplying military equipment to Pakistan in 1965 “and were certainly not doing so now”. He continued that we had to be frank in analyzing this situation. While it was true that Pakistan had received about dols 130 million worth of military equipment from China, India had recieved approximately dols 700 million of equipment from the USSR. However Foreign Minister’s point was well taken. There was no intent on part of US to contribute to disruption. We wanted to contribute to the peaceful process in the area.
Foreign Minister said the GOI had heard many times that the US intended to begin an Indo-US dialogue. He asked if this were a fact or merely a phrase. Secretary rejoined that the President did not merely mouth a phrase. The President had said in his report to Congress that he was inviting “a serious dialogue with India” but there had been no response. Foreign Minister said he would appreciate being enlightened on the content of such dialogue. Secretary Connally replied that we wanted to improve the relations between our two countries and we believed it was in the mutual interest of us both to do so. We had invited discussions to this end. He had come with no table of contents but he could assure Foreign Minister we did not stand on ceremony.
Secretary continued that so long as Foreign Minister [Page 7] castigated us as he had done before Indian Parliament on May 10, and so long as Prime Minister did the same in various European forums this was not conducive to the establishment of a meaningful dialogue.
Foreign Minister asked if he should take it that Indian attitude towards Vietnam had retarded dialogue. He said GOI had never made a secret of its views on Vietnam. Their basic stand had consistenly been that war would not solve the Vietnam problem. The war and the bombing must stop. There had always been a stong reaction to the mining of ports and waterways. He claimed that the government reaction had been much milder than the general feeling that North Vietnam was engaged in an unequal fight.
Secretary Connally said that we did not ask that the GOI agree with out policies. It boiled down to a “pure question of degree”. We both have the right to disagree with one another. The question was whether we did it “in a temperate manner or in a vitrolic manner”. Unless we had mutual respect we were not going to have a dialogue nor were we going to have a friendship between our two countries.
The Foreign Minister said he agreed that it was important that our disagreements be stated. Bangladesh had been a situation where the US could have exerted its influence to restrain Yahya Khan. The Foreign Minister then recalled that on his return from his successful visit to Washington in June 1971 he was greeted with press reports of a shipment of US arms to Pakistan. Ambassador Keating interjected that the shipment included no planes, guns or ammunition. Rather it was carrying spare parts.
Foreign Secretary Kaul spoke up to tell the Secretary that in his opinion there had never been a Foreign Minister of India who was more anxious to be fair in his dealings with others and who was more anxious to develop the closest possible relations with the United States. Ambassador Keating said he had already spoken of the Foreign Minister to the Secretary in similar terms.
The Foreign Secretary thought this had been a very useful exchange and he appreciated the frankness with which the Secretary had talked. He said that if the Secretary’s visit succeeded in reversing the present trend in our relations “we would welcome it”. The Secretary replied “so would we”.
Comment: While discussion became close to being sharp at times it was never acrimonious. We believe in sum that it was a healthy beginning for the Secretary’s visit and helped to clear the atmosphere at least to some degree.
Department repeat further as desired.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 7 US/Connally. Confidential; Exdis. Also designated Conto 220. Repeated to Islamabad, Dacca, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Athens for Secretary Rogers, the White House for Jeanne Davis, and Treasury for Leonard S. Dixon, Director of the Office of Administration. Connally’s stops in South Asia included Dacca, July 3 and 4, New Delhi, July 4 and 5, Islamabad, July 5–7, and Kabul, July 7. A number of the issues discussed by Connally and Singh on July 4 were explored at greater length with Foreign Secretary Kaul on July 5 by Van Hollen, DCM Galen Stone, and John M. Hennessy, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs. The conversation was reported to the Department on July 6 in Telegram 5874 from Islamabad. (Ibid.)
  2. The Embassy reported that former Treasury Secretary Connally and Indian Foreign Minister Swaran Singh reviewed the state of U.S.-Indian relations. The focus was on prospects for improved relations, but the exchange became sharp on the issues of U.S. arms supplies to Pakistan and Indian criticism of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam.