142 Bajpai to Gollan

Aide-Memoire NEW DELHI, 27 January 1949 I have the honour to enclose an Aide-Memoire containing suggestions for future cooperation between the countries represented at the recent Conference on Indonesia [1], which were discussed at an informal meeting called by the Prime Minister of India on the 24th January.

It will be appreciated if the comments of your Excellency's Government on the proposals contained in the Aide-Memoire can be communicated to the Government of India by the end of February, 1949.

2. A communication in similar terms is being addressed separately to the Representatives of Afghanistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen.

Accept, Excellency, the assurance of my highest consideration.


The third resolution adopted by the Conference on Indonesia, which was recently held in New Delhi, expressed the opinion that 'Participating Governments should consult among themselves in order to explore ways and means of establishing suitable machinery, having regard to the areas concerned, for promoting consultation and cooperation within the framework of the United Nations.' In order to expedite consideration of this suggestion, the Prime Minister, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru, invited the following [2] to an informal discussion on the 24th January.

[matter omitted]

Since the delegates to the Conference of Australia, Burma and the Philippines, and the New Zealand observer, had already left, they could not be asked to the meeting.

It was agreed that the suggestions noted below be communicated to the Governments whose representatives attended the Conference:

(1) The collection and dissemination of information about one another, so that the peoples of Asia should get mutually better acquainted. At present the intelligentsia of Asia know more about Europe than about the countries of Asia.

(2) Exchange, through normal diplomatic channels, of information and views regarding regional or international problems of interest to one or more countries of Asia.

(3) Maintenance of close contact, at the headquarters of the United Nations, between the Permanent Delegates of Asian countries.

(4) Free and frank consultation among representatives of such countries during sessions (a) of the United Nations General Assembly, and (b) of the Specialised Agencies of the United Nations.

(5) Periodical meetings of representatives of the Governments of these countries, preferably in rotation in their respective capitals, to discuss matters of common interest. Since democratic Governments depend for the support of their policies on the will of their peoples, every effort should be made to associate, with delegations to such conferences, representatives of popular groups or institutions which are in a position to influence public opinion.

(6) Encouragement, on a cultural plane, of meetings of the character referred in (5), supplemented by facilities for the exchange of teachers, technicians and students.

(7) Formation, in each country, of national committees for instructing the people in and enlisting their active support for promoting better understanding and closer cooperation among Asian peoples.

2. The Government of India hope that the Government of Australia, Burma,

Ceylon, China, New Zealand, Philippines, Siam will be able to give earnest attention to these suggestions and favour them with their views, if possible by the end of February. The suggestions are tentative and do not claim to be exhaustive. Any additions or modifications which the Government of Australia, Burma, Ceylon, China, New Zealand, Philippines, Siam may wish to offer would receive the most careful examination.

3. The intention of the Government of India is that, on receipt of the views of all the Governments concerned, there should be an informal meeting in New Delhi of their diplomatic representatives.

Countries which do not maintain such representatives in New Delhi would, of course, be welcome to depute anyone they wish to participate in the discussion of the replies of the Governments consulted. As a result of this further consultation in New Delhi, it is hoped that definite proposals for the implementation of Resolution III of the recent Indonesian Conference will be formulated.

4. Apart from the suggestions set out in para. 1, the Government of India would welcome the views of the Government of Australia, Burma, Ceylon, China, New Zealand, Philippines, Siam on the following points:

(1) The geographical region, and the countries situate within it, which should be included in the scope of the proposed consultation on matters of common interest;

(2) Whether the creation of machinery for consultation should depend upon the agreement of all the Government consulted, or a beginning be made provided that a substantial number of governments agree to such an arrangement;

(3) The structure and functions of the proposed machinery.

5. In order to keep all the Governments now being addressed informed of the replies received from individual governments, the Government of India proposes to circulate these replies through normal diplomatic channels as they are received.

1 The Conference on Indonesia was held at New Delhi from 20-23 January 1949. Dr J.W. Burton was Australia's representative.

2 The names of fifteen representatives from fourteen countries are not published here.

[AA:A5009/2, A7/3/13, ii]