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

264782. For the Ambassador or Charge. Subject: Presidential Trip.

1. Please be in touch immediately with highest appropriate Indian official to have the following message passed to the Indian Head of State from President Carter.

2. Begin text. Dear Mr. President: I regret to inform you that the press of urgent business in connection with the congressional consideration of my administration’s energy program obliges me to postpone my visit to your country. I ask your understanding for this difficult decision. The cementing of the close ties between our two countries is of the highest priority to me. However, the extreme importance of the proposed energy program—not only to the United States, but indeed to all energy-producing and energy-consuming countries throughout the world—necessitates my staying in Washington to ensure its management through the congressional process. The energy legislation which I have placed before the Congress is complex and involves intensive Parliamentary debate. We are nearing the closing stages of that debate, which will require my personal involvement.

[Page 217]I know that my postponing the visit to your country will cause personal inconvenience to you and to your senior advisors who have worked so hard to ensure the trip’s success. I am, of course, still most anxious to visit with you and will be in touch with you as soon as I can to try to arrange an acceptable date.

Secretary Vance will be announcing the postponement of the trip on Monday, November 7, at 10:00 am Washington time.2 Sincerely, Jimmy Carter. End text.

Vance
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P840076–0786, P800020–1917. Secret; Flash; Nodis. Drafted by David Anderson (S/S); cleared by Inderfurth; approved by Anderson.
  2. In telegram 15905 from New Delhi, November 9, the Embassy reported Indian reaction to the postponement of Carter’s visit, which was characterized as “low key and sympathetic.” However, the Embassy warned that “should the ‛postponement begin to appear more like a ‛cancellation’ we suspect that these delays would give rise to misunderstanding, and an effort by unfriendly elements here to read more into it than would be warranted.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770414–0645) Carter’s visit was rescheduled for January 1–3, 1978.