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imum effort not made now to get additional wheat on its way. Van Hollen injected that we well aware of possible shortages. We would keep pipeline full and would look promptly at request for more coastal vessels. However, US seriously concerned about need speed distribution system East Pakistan. Hilaly said whatever the facts on congestion in Pak ports and transportation system, it would be better if wheat were tied up in Pak ports than in ports in US. It was unrealistic to expect that "every knot should be tied" before additional PL 480 wheat "for which we have signed" is moved.
3. On coastal vessels Hilaly said GOP needed an additional one to two million dollars from US to hire up to half dozen coastal vessels of 3,000 ton capacity each. He had also raised this with MacDonald as important additional step that could be taken to avert difficulties later. Secretary assured Hilaly we would actively consider his requests, noting that if famine does in fact develop later in year and food is here and not in Pakistan, then we would also be subject heavy public criticism.
4. Ambassador made brief reference to articles today's press quoting contents of Department cables on possible food shortages East Pakistan. Secretary assured Hilaly we equally concerned over unauthorized disclosure this cable traffic and had said so in statement to press. Ambassador said he had written Senator Kennedy strong letter of concern about news stories and particularly over language therein that some of Senator's aides would shortly be visiting refugee camps India and "will try to enter East Pakistan" as well. He had reminded Senator that no one from his staff had applied for visas and that GOP could not be responsible for what might happen to such individuals should they attempt unauthorized entry across East Pakistan borders.
Comment: We plan call in Hilaly next week to apprise him fully of steps being taken by USG and to urge upon him essential need for GOP to take urgent steps on its side to put USG resources effectively to use.
108. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between President
Washington, July 27, 1971, 7:20 p.m.
P: Working late?
K: Yes, I am going over some papers.
P: Anything new?
K: Nothing of any consequence.
P: A lot of stuff to catch up on I guess.
K: There's a certain routine.
P: Terrific, I know.
K: It keeps piling up. There's still a lot of congratulatory mail2 coming in.
P: Good, good. You know the one thing we want to do is to be fair-we will probably be getting a question on the India/Pakistan thing. We really want to-we sure don't want to hurt our friends.
K: No, we certainly don't. Being fed by the-.
P: I know, the Indians. Awful but they are getting some assistance from Keating, of course.
K: A lot of assistance; he is practically their mouthpiece.
P: I talked to Bill [Rogers] in California while I was waiting for you. He is down on Keating; he is a total mouthpiece for the Indians.
K: He has gone native. As I told you, I saw the Indians and listened to their complaints and Keating kept interrupting and saying but you forgot to mention this or that.
P: I think we ought to get moving on him; he is 71 years old. K: Yes, but he would do us a lot of damage now. We should wait until things quiet down.
P: Two or 3 months and then I think we ought to do it.
K: I will make it clear with the Indians that there isn't going to be
P: They had had this plan-covers planned [sic] long before this.
1 Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 368, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking. The call was placed by the President to Kissinger in the White House.
2 The mail was in response to Kissinger's trip to China.
K: They have certainly been more respectful since this trip. I have asked Sisco to prepare a scenario of how we could handle this situation. I will talk to Farland tomorrow; and within this next week we will have a proposal for you. The problem-no military aid to Pakistan, they are not even getting economic aid. If anything will tempt the Indians to attack, it will be the complete helplessness of Pakistan.
P: After all they have done, we just aren't going to let that happen.
[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to South Asia.]
MORITZ LAW LIBRARY
109. Editorial Note
Ambassador Farland returned to Washington for consultations at the end of July. President Nixon and Henry Kissinger met with him at the White House on July 28, 1971. The discussion began with a brief summary of the initiative undertaken with the People's Republic of China. Turning to developments on the subcontinent, Farland said: "There is another side to this picture, and I can say with complete candor that if we push Yahya to the point where he reacts, the reaction will be such that the entire subcontinent will be [unclear] I mean he'll fight." He anticipated that conflict between India and Pakistan would draw in China as well.
Nixon asked: "What do you think our position should be?" Farland responded: "I think we are doing what we should." He went on to paint a stark picture of prospects for the subcontinent. Hindus and Muslims had been at each other's throats for centuries and in his view were likely to remain so. Nixon interjected: "Miserable damn place." Kissinger said that his appreciation of India's involvement in the crisis building in East Pakistan was that "if they can undermine East Pakistan then in West Pakistan so many forces would be, will unloosen, will be turned loose that the whole Pakistan issue will disappear." Nixon turned to Farland and said: "You are convinced that Yahya will fight." Farland responded: "Oh, he will." Nixon said: "He will commit suicide." Kissinger agreed that Yahya would fight: “Just as Lincoln would have fought." Farland added: "The possibility of defeat is a minor consideration as opposed to their sense of national unity."
Nixon asked for Farland's assessment of the "terrible stories" being circulated by the Indians about the horrors endured by the refugees at the hands of the Pakistani Army. Farland responded that the Indians were "past masters at propaganda." Nixon and Farland turned to
the question of arms supply for Pakistan. Farland noted that "since March 25 we have sent over 2,200 rounds of 22 ammunition for survival rifles for down there, that's all." He went on to observe that "40-50 percent of what is in the pipeline is for spare parts for trucks and for communication equipment without which the starving refugees could not be fed."
Nixon encouraged Farland to “lay it right out” in discussing the issue and in talking about the situation in East Pakistan. Nixon felt that it was important to "try to help on the problem." His concern was too that a "bloodbath" would develop in East Pakistan. "We warned the Indians very strongly," he said, "that if they start anything-and believe me it would be a hell of a pleasure as far as I am concerned—if we just cut off every damn bit of aid we give them, at least whatever it is worth."
Farland said that Yahya had told him that his intelligence had pinpointed 29 refugee camps in India where guerrillas were being trained. "I hate to tell you this, Mr. President, but the guerrilla threat is growing by leaps and bounds. They are averaging 18 Pakistanis a day now, they are averaging two bridges a day, killing that many." He added that the situation was exacerbated by the fact that refugees were prohibited from coming back to East Pakistan.
Nixon said that his problems in dealing with the situation in East Pakistan were magnified by the Department of State bureaucracy. "We are having a hell of a time keeping the State Department bureaucracies hitched on this thing." The Department's South Asia specialists were, in Nixon's view, pro-Indian. Farland noted the political fallout that had resulted in the United States from the issue made about Pakistani brutality by the Consul General in Dacca, and by the head of USIS. Both officers had been transferred out of the area and Farland indicated that he was trying to prevent any further negative reporting on the situation in East Pakistan. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Recording of conversation among Nixon, Kissinger, and Farland, July 28, 1971, 4:21–4:54 p.m., Oval Office, Conversation No. 549-25) The editors transcribed the portions of the conversation printed here specifically for this volume. A transcript of this conversation is published in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume E-7, Documents on South Asia, 1969-1972, Document 141.
110. Memorandum From Director of Central Intelligence Helms
Washington, July 29, 1971.
Indian Reaction to Statement Attributed to You about U.S. Response in the Event of Indian Military Action in Bangla Desh
Following is an account [2 lines of source text not declassified] concerning a recent talk you had with Indian Ambassador L.K. Jha in Washington. This information will be given no further distribution unless you wish it.
1. [name not declassified] said that in a recent conversation held in Washington, Dr. Kissinger had made clear to Ambassador Jha that the United States Government (USG) would consider any Chinese invasion of India in response to any Indian action in the Bangla Desh context as entirely different from the Chinese invasion in 1962, and that the USG would provide no support to India, either military or political, in that event.
2. [name not declassified] remarked that while this was causing considerable concern at the highest levels of the Government of India (GOI), it was not being taken at those levels as a deliberate anti-Indian move on the part of the USG. According to [name not declassified], the leadership levels of the GOI believe that cautious steps toward normalization of U.S.-Chinese relations is to the net advantage of India and South Asia. [name not declassified] also remarked, however, that Dr. Kissinger's statement would be taken as an intentional anti-India posture on the part of the USG by the lower levels of MEA and by the Indian public if and when they learned of it.
MUNITZ LAW LIBRARY
1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 597, Country Files, Middle East, India, Vol. IV, 1 Jul–30 Nov 71. Secret; No Foreign Dissem; Controlled Dissem; No Dissem Abroad; Background Use Only. Sent to Kissinger on August 13 by Saunders under cover of a memorandum in which Saunders states: "You may want to compare how this message got through with whatever you told the Indians when you were in New Delhi on this subject. Will they regard this as a change in tack?" (Ibid.)