83 High Commission in New Delhi to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 28 NEW DELHI, 14 January 1949

Nehru referred to Asian conference yesterday when addressing Indian Journalists' Association in Calcutta. He emphasised that it was not being held outside United Nations Charter, that Charter encouraged regional arrangements and that India proposed to function entirely in terms of the Charter. There was no opposition or hostility to countries like Britain and United States. They were not invited because 'that would have converted Conference into something different from what it was intended to'. He denied any intention of forming an Asian bloc as against European Countries or America saying that India had been opposed to forming any blocs for any hostile purpose. The Conference was not Anti- European, Anti-American or Anti-Western but he said it is certainly opposed to the conception of Imperialism or colonialism.

He indicated India's action was an inevitable development of the policy she had been following in last two or three years. The Conference was not intended in any sense to by-pass the Security Council but rather to strengthen it. Every action today had to be judged from wide standpoint of world peace. In this respect he drew a parallel with the League of Nations action when faced with Japanese aggression in Manchuria and its inability to stop a series of events that led up to last war.

He said it would be for Conferences to decide what procedure to adopt, what other matters it might consider and what steps it might [evolve] adding that it was not proper or possible for Indian Government to lay down anything precise as to how [conference] would function. [1]

1 Words in square brackets inserted from a copy on file A5009/2, A7/3/13, ii.

[AA : A1838, 383/1/25]