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the public interests may require without loss of grade, class, or salary: Provided, however, That no such officer shall receive more than one salary."

Under the provisions of this section the President is empowered, without additional legislative authorization, to appoint a Foreign Service officer to act in the capacities enumerated therein, including those of "commissioner" or "diplomatic agent". It may be noted, however, that this section does not provide for the assignment of a Foreign Service officer as "agent general". To obtain authority, therefore, for the appointment of an agent general, it would be necessary to seek Congressional legislation either creating such an office or appropriately amending section 24 of the Act of February 23, 1931. In order that the proposed appointment of an American representative to Delhi might be made within the framework of existing legislation and in order to avoid delay in seeking additional legislative authority, the titles of "commissioner" and "diplomatic agent" were suggested. It was not the Department's intention that a representative designated by a title other than that of "agent general" should in fact enjoy a status or perform duties other than those he would perform if designated as "agent general". It would be appreciated, therefore, if His Majesty's Government would indicate whether, in view of the foregoing statements, the constitutional position would permit the Government of India to reconsider the Department's suggestion that an American Foreign Service officer assigned to Delhi bear the title of "commissioner".

In accordance with the desires of the Government of India, the Government of the United States, in announcing the appointment of a representative to Delhi, will make no reference to the personal rank of minister to be accorded to such officer.

The Department concurs with the suggestion of the Government of India that the appointments of an Indian agent general at Washington and of an American representative at Delhi be made the subject of a provision in the draft treaty between India and the United States now under negotiation, it being understood that the exchange of representatives would occur forthwith in advance of the conclusion of the treaty negotiations and that the appointments would be announced simultaneously as being reciprocal in character. The Government of the United States desires to assure the Government of India of its intention of maintaining its consular establishment at Calcutta after the opening of an office in Delhi.

The Government of the United States perceives no objection to the appointment by the Government of India of Sir Girja Shankar Bajpai, K. B. E., C. I. E., as Agent General for India in the United States and will be pleased to receive him in that capacity.

Very sincerely yours,



The British Ambassador (Halifax) to the Under Secretary
of State (Welles)

WASHINGTON, July 15, 1941. MY DEAR WELLES: I have now had from the Foreign Office a reply to the telegram which I sent them as a result of your letter of July 2nd about the appointment of an American Foreign Service Officer to reside at Delhi or Simla. The Foreign Office inform me that the Government of India gladly agrees to the American representative being styled "Commissioner", as suggested in your letter. I hope therefore that we shall be able to agree on a simultaneous announcement of the two appointments shortly.

Very sincerely yours,



Press Release Issued by the Department of State, July 21, 1941

The Government of the United States and the British Government, in consultation with the Government of India, have agreed to an exchange of representatives on a reciprocal basis between the United States and India.

It is expected that an American Foreign Service Officer will be designated to represent the United States in the capacity of Commissioner at Delhi, the capital of India.

The representative of the Government of India in the United States appointed by the Governor General is Sir Girga Shankar Bajbai, who will bear the designation of Agent General for India in the United States and who, it is understood, will assume his duties in Washington in the early autumn.

123W694/360: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant)

WASHINGTON, September 16, 1941-6 p. m. 3838. Referring Department's 2932, August 2, 10 p. m.,2 there have arisen certain questions relating to form and procedure in connection with Mr. Wilson's appointment as Commissioner to India with the rank of Minister. These have had our careful consideration and in the light of the situation which is peculiar to India we have arrived at the following conclusions:

22 Not printed.

(1) The office at Delhi will be known as "The Commission of the United States of America".

(2) Mr. Wilson will present a letter of credence to the Viceroy and the usual ceremonial procedure in connection with such presentation will be observed. Following language is suggested, subject approval British authorities: "To His Majesty, George VI, etc., Great and Good Friend: I have made choice of Mr. Thomas M. Wilson, a citizen of the United States, as Commissioner of the United States of America to India, with the personal rank of Minister, to reside at New Delhi, and have charged him to conduct the affairs of his post in a manner to foster the friendship which has so long subsisted between the Government of the United States and that of Your Majesty. Paragraph May God have Your Majesty in His wise Keeping Your Good Friend (signed) Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Countersigned) Cordell Hull". Urgent that immediate reply be received on this point.

(3) The subordinate officers will be designated as "Secretary of the Commission".

(4) The officers assigned to Delhi will retain their consular commissions as of Calcutta and no change will be made in the Calcutta consular district. This is proposed in order that the officers may be properly documented to perform consular services at the same time avoiding the technical adjustments that would be involved in consular assignments to Delhi with the resultant necessity for establishing a new consular district.

Before issuing definitive instructions to Mr. Wilson, we desire that you discuss these several propositions with the appropriate British authorities with a view to ascertaining whether this procedure is agreeable and if it is not, we should be glad to have alternative suggestions. Our primary interest, of course, is the establishment of effective representation in complete accord with the wishes of the British Government and the Government of India. This telegram has been repeated to Mr. Wilson at Calcutta.


123W694/371 : Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Ambassador in the United Kingdom


WASHINGTON, September 30, 1941-11 p. m.

4128. Your 4615, September 30.2b Mr. Wilson is severing his connection with the Consulate General at Calcutta and as indicated in Department's 3840, September 16,2 he has been succeeded by George R. Merrell, who has been assigned Consul General at Calcutta. We are in complete accord that the Consulate General remain as a separate entity, but it is our desire that the subordinate officers at Delhi shall be qualified to perform consular functions as of Calcutta.

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We are entirely agreeable to the proposal that neither Mr. Wilson nor Sir Girja Bajpai shall present letters of credence and as suggested, Mr. Wilson will be provided with an informal letter of introduction addressed by the President to the Viceroy.20




Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State (Berle)3

[WASHINGTON,] May 5, 1941. Considerable thought given to the Near East in the past few days indicates that the Indian problem is now brought to the fore. India is contributing little to the present problem and if it remains in this status may well become an active danger to the whole situation in the not distant future. The British seem to be doing nothing about it. They have asked that we accept an Indian Agent General near this Government; meanwhile, they rather indignantly resent any attempt of ours to have effective representation at Delhi.*

I think the question ought to be dealt with broadly. From all the information I could get, at least a provisional settlement of the Indian problem has to be got as a preface to getting any solid help, although the Indians in general realize that if the British Empire falls their next fate will be worse than their present fate.

The attached Aide-Mémoire indicates the line that I rather feel ought to be considered. If it seems sensational, all I can say is that this is no time for half measures.

Mr. Wallace Murray 5 and the Near Eastern section are of the same mind."


2c President Roosevelt's letter was presented by Mr. Wilson to the Viceroy on November 21.

Addressed to the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary of State (Welles).

* United States interest in having consular representation at Delhi was embodied in article X of the draft of the proposed treaty of commerce and navigation which had been under discussion between the United States and the Government of India since 1939; see p. 190. For correspondence regarding the establishment in 1941 of an American Commission at Delhi, see pp. 170 ff. "Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs.

Attached is a note of May 8 by the Assistant Chief of the Division of Near Eastern Affairs (Alling) which states: "I understand nothing is to be done on this and that Mr. Welles feels it would be undesirable to do anything which might upset the Indian apple cart at this critical juncture."


Draft Aide-Mémoire

The Government of the United States has been giving earnest thought to certain problems corollary to the joint effort in which this Government and His Majesty's Government are now engaged. Among the greatest of these problems must be included the part which may be played by the Indian Empire in the coming months.

It would seem that considerations of principle as well as of policy converge to suggest that a solution be reached in respect of certain questions outstanding. India of necessity exerts a vast influence upon the affairs in the Middle East. Her status is of interest to all of the surrounding nations, and the degree to which and the methods by which she becomes integrated into a common cooperative effort of free peoples undeniably will affect the attitude of the Middle East countries.

Were there no other compelling reasons, it would suffice that India is a vast reservoir of manpower, and occupies a dominant position in supplying certain strategic war materials; and that her resources permit the development of additional supplies which in certain contingencies might well prove crucial. Converted into an active, rather than a passive, partner in the attempt to preserve a system of free cooperation among nations, her participation might well become of first importance.

To that end the Government of the United States hopes that His Majesty's Government will promptly explore the possibility of bringing India into the partnership of nations on terms equal to the other members of the British Commonwealth. Were this to be done, the Government of the United States would consider favorably receiving a diplomatic mission in Washington representing India as then constituted, and making provision for like representation of the United States at India.

The Government of the United States disclaims any desire to intervene in the relations existing between His Majesty's Government and the Indian Empire, but feels it appropriate to point out that under existing circumstances it can express concern over the tangible results, in the light of a common effort, which the British policy in India in fact produces.

The pressure of events in the Middle East leads this Government to hope that the matter may be promptly considered. It believes that the more rapidly a settlement of certain outstanding questions there prevailing can be arrived at, the greater will be the accession of strength to our common interest.

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