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116 High Commission in New Delhi to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 77 NEW DELHI, Lo February 1948, 11.50 p.m.


In conversation with the High Commissioner today Bajpai asked that
enquiries regarding the following matters be made of the
Australian Government.

2. Indian political representative in Japan had reported that two
Indian officers sent to Tokyo to procure warlike stores from the
Disposals Commission had been informed that no military stores
would be available to India or Pakistan. They were told further
that this decision (from Melbourne) was influenced by the Kashmir

3. Bajpai recalled that B.C.O.F. [1] had been constituted by
British, Australian, New Zealand, and Indian troops and that each
country had contributed a considerable quantity of warlike stores.

As the forces were gradually reduced a surplus of such stores was
accumulated and a disposals commission had been appointed to
disperse such surplus. Indian forces had now been withdrawn.

4. Indian Government considered they were entitled to a share of
the stores and that the two Indian officers sent to Tokyo should
be given an opportunity to bid for what was wanted. On November
20th, 1947, a communication from the Australian Defence Department
had been sent to London, whence it was sent to the Defence
Department in India, pointing out that a distribution of surplus
stores would be taking place and inviting India to take part in
this. It was in response to this that the two Indian officers had
been sent to Tokyo.

5. Bajpai said that the Indian Government takes strong exception
to instructions received from the High Commissioner which ruled
India out of the bidding for the surplus stores. The Indian
Government considered that this decision represented an intrusion
of politics which was not justified and that such extraneous
consideration should not enter into the matter.

1 British Commonwealth Occupation Force.

[AA:A1838/276, TS169/20/2]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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