131 Burton to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 59 NEW DELHI, 20 January 1949, 10.35 p.m.


I called today on Mr. Henderson, American Ambassador. The starting point of our discussion was his statement several days ago supporting the Conference see my telegram 54. [1] Henderson explained that he had general approval from the State Department and that Nehru's more temperate statement [2] at Calcutta over the week-end disclaiming intention to form a racial bloc had provided an opening.

2. Henderson had also suggested to the State Department that Jessup might make a statement in the Security Council on the same lines but the opportunity had not arisen and Jessup could not very well say anything 'out of the air'.

3. Henderson made clear the United States determination not to cut off Marshall Aid to Holland except as part of a general sanctions plan approved by the Security Council. To take such action independently would he felt be a complete negation of American policy in Europe.

4. I emphasised to Henderson our misgivings on the current American policy on Indonesia especially the apparent tendency to give the Dutch a veto on any resolutions which they proposed to introduce in the Security Council. Henderson suggested that American reluctance to be more forthright at the moment was only a temporary phase and that in two or three months she would move much more strongly if the Dutch did not respond. When I pointed out that the damage might be done in that time he indicated that his Government were reluctant to do anything precipitate.

5. Our discussion was most cordial and Henderson appeared to realise very fully the importance of America and the United Kingdom adopting a friendly line towards this Conference and any reasonable decisions it might make. He offered to place at our disposal any facilities he might have. He had returned to Delhi for the Conference and his whole attitude is in marked contrast to the United Kingdom High Commissioner's who today left Delhi.

6. Clearly the United States attitude to the problems of this area is very much in line with Australia's and the Ambassador gave encouragement to Australia in this present Conference as in his view our attendance is the best guarantee that the racial aspect can be avoided.

1 Document 125.

2 See Document 83.

[AA : A1838, 854/10/4/5]