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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 18, 1951

LETTER FROM F.C. HOW TO ROGER MAKINS

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation, Carnegie Corporation

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    F.C. How of the Ministry of Supply replies to Roger Makins of the Foreign Office regarding negotiations for British nuclear cooperation with India.
    "Letter from F.C. How to Roger Makins," August 18, 1951, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, National Archives, Kew, File AB16/565, Technical co-operation with India, 1947-54. Obtained for NPIHP by Jayita Sarkar. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117747
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SECRET

18th August, 1951

Dear Makins,

Thank you for your letter of 3rd August about collaboration with India.

This situation seems to me to have got rather tangled and I should not like to take any overt action with the Indians until it has been thrashed out in the Official Committee, or at least at a meeting between the Foreign Office, C.R.O. and the Ministry of Supply at which Cockcroft could be present.

The proposals set out in Bhabha’s letter seem to me to be extremely one-sided and to involve our giving far more than we are likely to receive. I put this point to Cockcroft, who seemed inclined to agree, but who said that we need not worry about the point, because the arrangements with the French and our participation in them would by-pass the proposals in Bhabha’s letter so far as the period up to about 1954 was concerned.

Then at the Official Committee, as you will remember, Perrin said that it had been a guiding principle in the negotiations

with Bhabha that we would not become entangled with the French. In these circumstances, I do not think it would be safe to make any move until we have got round a table.

/It should

Sir Roger Makins, K.C.M.G.,

Foreign Office,

LONDON, S.W.1.

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It should be possible to do this about the end of the month, and an Oriental should not regard a delay of less than three months in answering a letter as being abnormal! I do not think it was our delay in answering his earlier approaches which caused him to turn to the French, because it appears from Cockcroft’s paper that Bhabha had made his arrangements with the French at a time when he was still amicably discussing possible similar arrangements with us.

I am sending a copy of this letter to Sykes of the Commonwealth Relations Office.

Yours Sincerely,

(Sgd.) F.C. HOW