Dear Mr. St. Laurent,
Dr. Rhadakrishnan4 gave a lunch on Saturday, August 22, at the President's house for the Heads of Mission of the countries he visited this summer. The Prime Minister was present.
Immediately after lunch, the Prime Minister came up to me and said, "I want you to write immediately to Mr. St. Laurent to remind him that at the meetings in London he said that if he got through the elections all right, he hoped to visit India this year."
Mr. Nehru said that, of course, November, December, January and February were the best months to visit India. I said that I understood the House would be meeting in Ottawa the middle of November and it might be that, if you could visit India this winter, you would find that January was the best month. Mr. Nehru said that January would be excellent as far as he was concerned since the House would not be in session here.
I do hope that you will be able to accept Mr. Nehru's renewed invitation. He is, as you know, most anxious that you should pay a visit to India as soon as possible. Mr. Nehru wants you to stay in India as long as you possibly can.
Mr. Nehru said that he was very happy to hear of your victory in the election. He had wanted to telegraph or write you but he did not know whether it was entirely appropriate for a Prime Minister of one part of the Commonwealth to congratulate the Prime Minister of another part on an electoral victory.
This led us into a discussion of general election campaigns in Canada and India and as a result Mr. Nehru sent me the enclosed map showing the tours which he made in the last general election campaign here.? He asked me to send it to you. You will see that he covered almost 26,000 miles, that he made 305 speeches in 46 days, and spoke to about 30 million people.
Mr. Nehru looked ten or fifteen years younger on Saturday than he did three or four weeks ago. He was in a very gay mood when we saw him at lunch and later in the afternoon at the opening of a fair. He has, I think, been weighed down by the burden of having to make up his mind on what concessions he should offer Mr. Mohammed Ali on Kashmir. It was obvious on Saturday that there had been an immense lightening of his spirit as a result of his talks with Mr. Mohammed Ali.
Mr. Mohammed Ali, as you know, is also expecting you to visit his country. He spoke to Ruth about this at one of the official dinners here last week.
I do hope that you will find it possible to accept Mr. Nehru's invitation and that Madame St. Laurent will accompany you to India. Ruth and I would consider it such a great pleasure to have you stay with us and to help to show you something of this fascinating country-
May I add my congratulations on your victory in the elections. You must feel immensely heartened by this remarkable demonstration of public confidence in you and in your administration.
Ruth joins me in sending the very best of good wishes to Madame St. Laurent and yourself.
Sarvepalli Rhadakrishnan, vice-président de l'Inde. Sarvepalli Rhadakrishnan, Vice-President of India.