Volume #22 - 691.|
RELATIONS AVEC LE COMMONWEALTH
RELATIONS AVEC DES PAYS PARTICULIERS
VISITE DU PREMIER MINISTRE À OTTAWA, 21-23 DÉCEMBRE
Extrait du cahier d'information produit à l'occasion de la visite de M. Nehru|
le 14 décembre 1956|
Looking at the world situation from New Delhi during the last week of November, 1956, there appear to be three urgent objectives of Western policy. The first is to repair the damage to the North Atlantic Alliance. The second is to repair the damage to the Commonwealth. The third is not only to close the breach between the Afro-Asian world and the West but also to take steps which might in time lead to a common front against Russia and China of the West and the Afro-Asian countries.
2. To the West and to Canada as a member of the West it is essential that all three objectives be attained. It would be neither wise nor prudent to concentrate on the attainment of one to the exclusion of the other two.
3. If, for example, our efforts were to be concentrated on the aim of repairing the North Atlantic Alliance to the exclusion of the other two objectives we might find in less than ten years' time that the Western world had been reduced to a comparatively small territory consisting of a tiny peninsula at the west of the huge Afro-Eurasian land mass, plus North America, Australia, New Zealand and possibly some parts of Central and South America. Indeed in such circumstances North America might not be able to hold even a bridgehead on the continent of Europe.
4. Too close a concentration on repairing the damage to the Commonwealth might result in the adoption of policies which might impede the development of increasingly friendlier relations between India and the United States and this would militate against the attainment of the other two of our three urgent objectives of policy.
5. Similarly, a concentration on the closing of the breach between the Afro-Asian world and the West could result in the United States demanding such sacrifices from its western European allies that the North Atlantic Alliance would be irretrievably weakened.
6. The arguments in a commentary prepared in New Delhi necessarily reflect the atmosphere here. The recommendations in the commentary are directed mainly, therefore, to measures which, in my opinion, are likely to result in a closer union between India and the West and particularly between India and Canada.
7. This commentary is not, of course, the kind of considered careful appreciation which a large Embassy might be able to prepare over a period of many months. The Commentary is based almost entirely on the telegrams and despatches which we have sent from here during the month of November.
8. The commentary is concerned with the meaning of the tragic events of November, 1956, and the opportunities and perils they offer to the Western world. It contains recommendations on how Canada, as a member of the Western world, might help its friends and allies to avert the perils and grasp the opportunities.
CANADA'S POSITION IN INDIA
1. In the years 1943, 1944 and 1945, when the post-war world was beginning to take shape and the international post-war agencies were being created, Canada found itself playing the role of one of the Western Big Three.
2. From Delhi it looks as if the pattern is repeating itself thirteen years later. Once again Canada seems to have been as much pushed by events as by itself to the forefront. Indeed, this time Canada's influence and importance in the Councils of the West may be exceeded only by that of the United States.
3. Mr. Nehru has a very great respect for the Prime Minister and Mr. Pearson. He trusts the judgment of both. He looks on both with something close to affection. He considers, to use his highest term of praise, that Canada is "a good country" and the Prime Minister and Mr. Pearson "good men".
4. In the nine years since Independence, the strongest link between India and the West has been India's friendship for Great Britain and its respect for the information and the judgment of the Foreign Office and the integrity, the moderation, the sympathy and understanding for India of British Governments whether Conservative or Labour. That has gone now. It will be a long time before confidence is restored.
5. No leader of Western Europe is close to Mr. Nehru. This is true of Mr. Spaak of Belgium and Mr. Martino of Italy, not to mention the Prime Ministers and Foreign Ministers of Norway and Sweden. Moreover, Mr. Krishna Menon has poisoned Mr. Nehru's mind against Mr. Hammarskjöld. Mr. Nehru considers that the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand do not belong in the twentieth century.
6. The result is that there are now, so far as I can see, only three Western statesmen in whom Mr. Nehru has real confidence: President Eisenhower, Mr. St. Laurent and Mr. Pearson. He might indeed say that these are "the three wise men of the West". His confidence in these three has been immeasurably strengthened by their behaviour during the continuing and mounting crisis of the past four months. When he visits North America in December, he will be talking to the only three Western World statesmen in whom he has real confidence.
7. A great responsibility rests, therefore, on the Indian diplomatic missions in Washington and Ottawa and on the diplomatic missions in New Delhi of the United States and Canada. Unfortunately the Indian Ambassador in Washington has not Mr. Nehru's full confidence and, in any event, he is retiring soon. The Indian High Commissioner in Ottawa is regarded by Mr. Pillai, the Secretary-General of the External Affairs Ministry, with something close to contempt. Mr. Pillai could reflect Mr. Nehru's attitude. The United States Embassy in New Delhi has been without an Ambassador for nine months.
8. Mr. Malcolm MacDonald considers, I think rightly, that there is nothing of importance directly related to the present international crisis which he, as the representative of Great Britain, can now wisely or usefully discuss with Mr. Nehru. The result is that I now find myself in the position in New Delhi where I seem, for the moment, to be the only Western diplomat who is in a position to influence Mr. Nehru's general approach to the crisis.
9. The situation is further complicated because Mr. Pillai, the Secretary-General, who must always be conscious of Mr. Krishna Menon's intrigues against him, says that Mr. Malcolm MacDonald and I are the only two diplomats here to whom he can open his mind and of the two of us, he says he can speak more freely to me.
10. In a period of international crisis such a situation imposes an inappropriate responsibility on the shoulders of the representative of a middle power. The sooner it is ended the better for all concerned. What is required is a long-term, not just a short-term remedy.
11. If Russia should withdraw from Hungary and permit the establishment of independent régimes in Eastern Europe, Mr. Nehru and India will probably consider the Russian aggression against Hungary as a temporary aberration in the same way as we hope they will ultimately come to regard the Anglo-French aggression against Egypt. But if Russia does not act in this way, there is a good chance that wise action by the West over the next four years will result in the Western world and India gradually becoming more and more closely associated in a common effort to restrain the imperialist and expansionist ambitions of Russia and China.
12. The attainment of this objective can be much assisted by a wise and restrained diplomatic campaign by the West. The moderation of the campaign will not mean, however, that it must be conducted solely on the intellectual plane. The first battle of the campaign must be fought on the field of emotion; it must seek to win the citadel of Indian opinion by appealing first to the imagination and the conscience. Only when the governing class in India has been roused by emotion will the scales drop from their eyes for a closer look at the brutal truth of Russian rule. Their minds must thus be stirred and strengthened for the arduous task of intellectual adjustment which will have to precede full alignment with the West. The Western campaign will possibly be a four year struggle, and the Western World should man its outposts in Delhi accordingly.
13. The United States should, for example appoint as Ambassador to India a first rate man who is prepared to stay here for four or five years; who will not hope for early or easy victories; who will neither expect nor want publicity; and who is the kind of American most likely to get on with Mr. Nehru.
14. The United States must not treat its representation in Delhi during the second four years of the Eisenhower Administration as it has treated it during the first four years, when a Chargé has been in command more than half the time.
15. This outpost of the West in New Delhi should be manned for a long campaign. Perhaps it won't take four years to win India to our side against Russia and Chinese expansionist imperialism. It depends on the degree of wisdom, strength and patience - and silence - that the West is able to display in its relations with India even though Mr. Nehru and his associates will undoubtedly continue to say and do things which will exasperate us. It also, of course, depends on how far Russia and China play into our hands. But it would be unwise for the West not to plan on a four year campaign in India. It will be a campaign in which we must not allow ourselves to be undully elated over victories in a single engagement nor unduly depressed over reverses. It will be a campaign in which the direct national interests of Canada will coincide with the general interests of the West.
A FRESH APPRAISAL OF CANADA'S NATIONAL INTERESTS
16. The forthcoming visit of Mr. Nehru and Mr. Pillai to Canada makes desirable a searching re-examination of the nature and extent of Canada's direct, immediate and selfish national interests in India. Such a re-examination could provide the basis for a Canadian foreign policy and diplomacy on matters relating to India which would be best calculated to serve the interests of the Canadian people during the next decade of international crisis.
17. India is the world's most populous democracy, the best administered country of any size in Asia, and the most economically progressive state in uncommitted Afro-Asia. Although India is bedevilled by strong divisive forces, the general belief of Indians that economic conditions are improving and are likely to continue to improve, strengthens the forces of Indian national unity against these disruptive influences.
18. Mr. Nehru, himself, is also a great prop to the forces of national unity. He may well remain Prime Minister for another seven to ten years. For the people of India he is a George Washington, a Lincoln and an Eisenhower rolled into one: Washington because he was the leader of the revolutionary struggle for independence, Lincoln because he has the moral appeal of a tormented and sensitive mind; Eisenhower because he is the father of his people.
19. India is already an important industrial power. In another ten or fifteen years its steel production will probably be about twenty million tons a year. This will be much the cheapest steel in the world. It will provide a solid basis for a massive industrial development in India.
20. China and India are the only two possible leaders of the Afro-Asian group of nations. As goes India, so goes virtually all the rest of the non-Communist Afro-Asian group.
21. India belongs to the alliance potential of the West because of its history, its traditions and its interests. India is large enough, strong enough, united enough, and has sufficiently good leadership to be a subject of foreign policy not just an object, as are most of the countries of the Middle East and South and South-East Asia.
22. From this it follows that, for the West, India is the key to the whole of non-Communist Asia between Turkey and Japan. This means that the West will be pursuing its own interests if, over the next four years or so, it devotes to wooing India more resources of thought and of money than to all the rest of non-Communist Asia combined. This will not be a crusade for some quixotic goal, but a shrewd campaign based on hard facts.
23. The stakes for the West are high. If India goes the wrong way, events could be set in train which could result, in ten or fifteen years time, in the West being driven back to a fortress consisting only of a small peninsula at the Western tip of the Afro-Eurasian land mass, North America and possibly Central and South America. This is the goal of Russian and Chinese policy. This is why they devote so much thought and planning to their campaign in India.
24. Canada's direct, immediate and selfish national interests are served by a Canadian foreign policy and diplomacy in relation to India which are best calculated to promote the direct, immediate and selfish national interests of the West - political, economic and strategic.
25. One conclusion to be drawn from this analysis is the necessity of keeping a sense of proportion. We should be on the side of the big battalions if we want the big battalions on our side. In terms of our direct national interests, India, because of itself and of its influence, is more important to us than fifty South Africa's or Portugal's.
26. Moreover, realistic foreign policy is not unlike realistic domestic party politics. Realistic politicians do not disburse much patronage or public works to safe constituencies. They have them in the bag anyway. They disburse none to hopeless constituencies. Durable politicians give most of their favours to doubtful constituencies.
27. Portugal and white South Africa are in a sense safe constituencies for the West. India is a doubtful constituency. Pressure on Portugal to transfer Goa to India, participation in a drive at the United Nations against the evils of apartheid in South Africa, would pay large profits in terms of Canadian national interests.
28. Similar reasoning applies to Canada lending its efforts to those of the United States to persuade, cajole, bribe and bully the United Kingdom, France, Belgium and Portugal to put all their non-self-governing territories in Africa under the trusteeship system of the United Nations, and to give unconditional pledges to grant these territories independence in periods ranging from a few years to twenty years, depending on their state of development. Recent events have speeded up the decline of the power of the United Kingdom and the other colonial powers. They certainly cannot afford any more expensive "dirty wars" in their colonies. Nor can the United States and Canada afford to let them fight hopeless colonial wars. These wars weaken the colonial powers too much and they weaken the West too much in India and in the other uncommitted Afro-Asian countries.
29. The failure of the West to adjust its relations with China to the realities of the existing situation is defensible now only on the assumption that the interests of the West as a whole would be put in greater jeopardy by a violent reaction in the United States than they would be by a continuance of present Western policy. Is this assumption not fast becoming unrealistic? I suggest that a careful weighing of direct selfish interests of the West would result in our finding that the risks of not acting realistically with respect to China sometime in 1957 are probably in the order of magnitude of five times greater than the risks of acting.
30. The application to the Commonwealth of the analysis of direct, immediate national interests discloses that for Canada the Commonwealth is a method of keeping countries such as India as potential allies and of turning potential allies into real allies. This it does by the well-tried methods of exchanging information on international developments, consulting on foreign policy, and co-operating wherever possible in pursuing specific agreed objectives in foreign policy. Hitherto the United Kingdom has used these methods to its own advantage more efficiently than we, or indeed other members of the Commonwealth, have. Has not the time come for Canada to use these methods? Has not the time come for Canada to move away from the concept of a Commonwealth divided between the old and the new members, with all that connotes?
31. I know that the kind of policies set forth above could not wisely be carried out by a Canadian Government unless the Government were able to secure the support of the great bulk of the Canadian people in all sections of Canada. I know also that the task of securing such general support would be arduous. But Mr. St. Laurent and Mr. Pearson were able, in 1948, to rally the people of Canada to what Mr. St. Laurent then called a "crusade" for the North Atlantic Treaty. The wholehearted acceptance by the people of Canada of the kind of policies outlined above would constitute no greater revolution in Canadian foreign policy than the acceptance by Canada in 1948 of the North Atlantic Treaty.
THE POSSIBLE LONGER-RUN EFFECTS IN INDIA OF EVENTS
32. Forces have been set in motion in India which, if the West acts with wisdom, could lead first to a decision by Mr. Nehru that Russia is a brutal, dangerous, imperialist power and then, under Mr. Nehru's leadership, to a similar decision by the great mass of Indian opinion. Such a decision could provide the foundation on which might be built in the course of the next few years a union of hearts between the West and India.
33. There is no precise parallel that I can recall in recent Western history to the kind of struggle for their allegiance which is now going on within the minds and hearts of Indians. The closest parallels are perhaps the most obvious, the United States from 1914 to 1917 and from 1939 to Pearl Harbour.
34. In 1914 and 1915 Woodrow Wilson, the great idealist and liberal, the self-appointed voice of the world's conscience, kept reiterating in public that there was no moral difference between the two sides. It was not until the war had gone on for two and a half years that the majority of the people of the United States could be brought to see where their national interests lay.
35. An even closer parallel is the situation in the United States at the time of the collapse of France in June, 1940 when it looked, or so it seemed to those of us who were then in Washington, that the British Isles were about to be occupied. Mr. Roosevelt and his closest associates struggled then against the obvious conclusion that sooner or later the United States would have to embark on war against Germany, and the sooner the better. Slowly, agonizingly slowly to us who were fighting, Mr. Roosevelt's mind first moved to a grudging acceptance of the inevitability of full American belligerency. Then he pushed the United States inch by inch into the war, being careful as he might have said, to "baby" the American people along and never to get out too far in front of them.
36. In this painful period the Western belligerents under the leadership of Mr. Churchill and with their chief spokesman in Washington, first Lord Lothian and then Lord Halifax, were on the whole wise in their dealing with Mr. Roosevelt and the United States. They were impatient with Mr. Roosevelt's failure to comprehend the magnitude of the clear and present danger which the disaster of June, 1940 created for the United States.
37. I remember vividly a long private talk I had with Lord Lothian on one of the worst days of July, 1940. I remember his controlled, but passionate and bitter impatience with the United States. He displayed this in private to carefully selected American politicians, officials and newspapermen but, so far as I can recall, he never displayed it in public.
38. The impatience of the Western belligerents in June and July of 1940 turned to something close to contempt three months later when Mr. Roosevelt in his election campaign promised the "mothers of American boys" that never, never, never, would their boys fight in foreign wars. When Mr. Roosevelt was re-elected there was then the long, painful delay before Lend-Lease was conceived and born.
39. Though the Western Governments were constantly impatient of the United States and sometimes contemptuous, they rightly controlled in public any demonstration of their impatience and their contempt, and they pitched their demands low, adjusting them to what the market would bear. Thus Mr. Churchill in 1941 did not ask for American belligerency, but preached on the text, "Give us the tools and we will finish the job". He knew this would eventually lead to American belligerency.
40. Our argument in 1939 and 1940 was, as I recall it: "The American democracy is wise and sound. We know that it will discover for itself where the national interests of the United States lie. We can only pray it will discover this before it is too late for the United States and for us. But if we try to interfere publicly to speed up this process, we will defeat our own ends."
41. Mr. Nehru, in November and December of 1956, is going through an even worse crisis than that which Mr. Roosevelt went through in June and July of 1940, when he must have known in his heart of hearts that his world had crashed about his ears but he refused to acknowledge it. In November, 1956, Mr. Nehru's world crashed about his ears. In the preceding two months he had suffered shock, pain, anger, because of his belief that Great Britain by its statements and threats and actions which followed Mr. Nasser's nationalization of the Suez Canal, had betrayed its great traditions which are also his traditions. He was encouraged, however, from what seemed at the end of October to be the successful advance of freedom in Poland and Hungary. He must have thought that this demonstrated how right he had been in contending for the past two years that a deep and strong current of liberalization was flowing in Russia; that not only was freedom growing in Russia but that the Russian satellite empire was changing before our eyes into a Soviet Commonwealth of Nations; that this meant that gradually the barriers of fear and hatred between Russia and the West could come down.
42. Then came, early in November, the shock of the barbarous Soviet repression of the Hungarian Revolution. Since then Mr. Nehru has been struggling against recognizing the manifest fact that the Soviet Union has been demonstrated in Hungary to be a treacherous, ruthless, imperialist power, and that the Russia of Mr. Khrushchev and Mr. Bulganin is "the smiler with the knife".
43. Mr. Nehru has been inclined to clutch at any straw in an effort not to recognize this fact. He knows in his heart of hearts that once he does recognize it, he must acknowledge that his world has come crashing down about his ears, and that he must establish Indian foreign policy on a new foundation.
44. In Mr. Nehru's period of torment we in the West must in our own interests display to him the affection, the understanding, the patience - and the firmness in private - which Mr. Churchill and Lord Lothian and Lord Halifax displayed to Mr. Roosevelt, not only in the summer of 1940 but in all the weary months that followed until Pearl Harbour.
45. We must not in the weeks and months ahead try too obviously or too hard to press Mr. Nehru and India. We must give Mr. Nehru time to fight through his own crisis of conscience and we must not expect, though we can pray for, a sudden light on the road to Damascus. Once Mr. Nehru is converted we must give him time to "baby" his people along. We must realize he cannot - he must not - get too far out in advance of his own people.
46. Mr. Roosevelt in 1939 and 1940 and 1941 had ancient grudges and ancient ghosts in the United States to contend against - George III, the famine of the forties in Ireland, the Boer War, the myth that America had been dragged into war in 1917 by the makers of munitions, the picture in the minds of most Americans of England and France as Machiavellian imperialist powers.
47. Mr. Nehru has grudges to contend with in his own heart and in the heart of India which are much more ancient and much more deep-rooted. His path is beset with many more ghosts. His mind is receptive to visual impressions of imperialism and aggression in Egypt. Even if his mind were to receive equally clear visual impressions of imperialism and aggression in Hungary, his mind would do its best to reject those impressions as false to reality.
48. Mr. Nehru subconsciously must know that if he permits his mind to see through a clear eye what is happening in Hungary, his ranging imagination will be stirred by the gallantry of the Hungarian rebels and he will begin to feel not only for them but with them. Being a sensitive man, once he begins to feel for them and with them he will begin to feel a nauseating revulsion against the brutality and treachery of the Russians. From that point on, the barriers which prevent him from bringing his subtle and powerful mind to bear on the far-reaching and distasteful implications for India of what has been happening in Hungary will begin to come down. Once these barriers begin to come down the game in India can be won by the West - if we play our cards well.
49. It is the martyrdom of Hungary which can win India to our side. We must keep the spotlight turned on Hungary. We must discreetly help Mr. Nehru and India to find out for themselves what is really happening there and to see the barbarity of Russia in all its horror. We must help Mr. Nehru and India to see the courage of an old and honourable European nation. First to see their courage, then to mourn over their dead, then to glorify these men whose struggle for national freedom against hopeless odds deserves the tribute of good men everywhere and particularly of the leaders of India who themselves fought for years for national freedom. We must, in company with India, work our way through to the correct answers to the question, "What has happened to what we both had thought was a solidly based trend to liberalization within Russia and in Russia's relations with Eastern Europe and with us?"
50. We must not lecture India, but we should say that we too were fooled about Russia. We must not conduct open propaganda in India. We must in private share with Mr. Nehru our fears, our thoughts, our hopes and our despairs.
51. We have now for the first time since the war a chance to win Mr. Nehru completely to our side. If we win him he can bring along first the educated governing class in India, and then the mass of the people. India's example can be contagious in the rest of non-Communist Asia and Africa. And we need the friendship, the support, the resources and the wisdom of these peoples if we have to face indefinitely, in an age of intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads, the implacable hostility of a Russia prepared to subdue by terror all liberal movements wherever the power of its armed forces extends.
52. If we win the full support of the Afro-Asian countries, this would mean that the whole world, apart from China, would be ranged against Russia. This might eventually be sufficient to tip the scales in Moscow between the two groups contending for power there. This might result in the more moderate group being able in the end to defeat the army and the Stalinists and to force the adoption of a policy which might lead to the withdrawal of all Soviet troops from Europe, to the establishment in Eastern Europe of independent governments, and to increased liberalization within the Soviet Union.
53. There is no inexorable destiny about mankind. If we in the West are evil or stupid, the trends which I see in India can be reversed. If we are wise and good, we can create a union of hearts between ourselves and India much earlier than I now dare hope.
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