March 7, 1972
US Embassy Canada cable 391 to State Department, 'India’s Nuclear Intentions'
This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)
U.S. embassy officials report on an interview with Lauren Gray, the chairman of Canada’s Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB), who had recently visited India. Having spoken with Homi Nusserwanji Sethna, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, and other officials, Gray believed that Sethna opposed a test and that as long as Sethna and Indira Gandhi were in office “there was no chance” that India would test a nuclear device, which would take three to four years to prepare. Other officials with the AECB disagreed with Gray's estimates - based on their assessment of Indian’s ability to produce weapons grade plutonium, they argued that it would take no more than a year to produce a device. They also pointed out that about 18 months earlier there had been a “blackout” of statistical information on plutonium production in India.
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