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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1951. Asia and the Pacific (in two parts)

South Asia: multilateral relations,   pp. 1650-2003 PDF (136.2 MB)

Page 1663

   On Tibet, Mr. Kennedy said that the US still had in mind the
 Tibetan appeal to the UN against Chinese aggression. We would
 probably go along with any major support in the UN for considera-
 tion of this appeal, but we did not intend to take any intiative our-
 selves in the matter. The UK officials said that the British position
 was substantially the same and that the UK believed the issue was
 mainly one for determination by India, as the UK had in fact already
 made clear to the Indian Government.
   While it was generally recognized by the group that there would
 be little in the way of practical result from UN consideration of the
 appeal, Mr. Kennedy pointed out that we were concerned about the
 moral aspect of overlooking aggression anywhere in the world. Mr.
 Scott agreed that this was a valid concern and he thought it might
 also be useful to point out to India the moral issues involved.
 French and Portuguese Possessions
   Mr. Kennedy said that the US preferred to have as little to do as
 possible with the problem of French and Portuguese possessions in
 India. The UK thought that India was probably in no great hurry
 at the moment to press the holding of referendums. India was prob-
 ably somewhat fearful of an adverse result. Among other factors
 which might work against a vote favoring India, the local inhabitants
 of the French possessions were now enjoying profitable trade in
 smuggling into India. The UK believed that Nehru was convinced
 of the sincerity of top level French officials in their willingness to have
 the future of the possessions determined through referendum. The
 sincerity of local French officials might be somewhat more suspect.
 A settlement over the Portuguese possessions was still farther away.
 It was clear that Portugal would oppose a referendum since it con-
 sidered its Indian possessions part of the Portuguese Crown terri-
 tories. Mr. Garner said that, however it was explained, the fact seemed
 to be that the heat had for the moment gone out of this whole problem
 of the French and Portuguese possessions.
 India-Ceylon Relations
 The UK said that, generally speaking, there was no serious current
 problem over Indians in Ceylon. This issue was, of course, potentially
 difficult and Ceylon always had in the back of its mind the fear of
 some positive Indian action of one sort or another. In reply to Mr.
 Kennedy's question, the British officials saw no attempt in Ceylon to
 freeze out the Indian inhabitants from Ceylonese citizenship; to the
 contrary, the Ceylonese had made it possible for Indians to acquire
citizenship after a reasonable period of residence.

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