August-September 1944: Pearson leak continued

  • In a follow-up to his July 25 column, Pearson wrote a second editorial on August 28 which labeled Phillips as a persona non grata based on messages between British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and Sir Ronald Campbell, the British ambassador in Washington (Hess, 143-44).

Crane, Robert I. “U.S.-India Relations: The Early Phase, 1941-1945” Asian Affairs, vol. 15, no. 4 (Winter 1988/1989): 189-193.

  • Crane describes how he came to work at the India desk in the State Department and his involvement with multiple lobbying organizations including the National Committee for India’s Independence and the Indian League of America.
  • “The Phillips Report had come routinely across my desk in the Division of Cultural Relations.  Impressed an pleased by its contents, I subsequently showed it to two of my close Indian friends in Washington. Though I was not aware of it then, one of them copied the Report verbatim and later gave it to Drew Pearson, who published it.  The Report had a substantial impact on public opinion” (191).

Windmiller, Marshall. “A Tumultuous Time: OSS and Army Intelligence in India, 1942-1946” International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Vol. 8, no. 1 (1995): 105-124.

  • “According to Crane, he showed the letter to two Indian friends, and one of them gave it to the columnist Drew Pearson.  It became a cause célèbre and caused a major diplomatic problem with Britain” (114).

Kux, Estranged Democracies (1993).

  • The second leak reported came from an Indian member of Agent-General Girja Bajpai’s staff (36).

Hess, America Encounters India (1971).

  • Pearson, in his memoir “Confessions of an S.O.B,” published in the November 3, 1956 issue of Saturday Evening Post, revealed that his informant was a State Department employee who felt that Phillips’ suggestions would generate more Indian support of the war (142).

Aldrich, Intelligence and the War Against Japan (2000).

  • Repeats Windmiller’s explanation of the leak, but goes on to identify Major Altaf Qadir, Third Secretary of the Indian Agent-General in Washington, an “ardent nationalist,” as the source behind the second leak to Pearson (149).
  • The British Security Co-ordination, headed by William Stephenson in New York, also identified Chaman Lal, an Indian journalist, as the person who gave the Phillips report to Pearson (149).

Gould, Sikhs, Swamis, Students, and Spies (2006)

  • Gould describes a chain from Crane to K.A.D. Naoroji, the Deputy Director of the Government of India Supply Mission (“an organization whose purpose was to expedite the flow of strategic supplies to India” 318), to K.C. Mahendra, an owner of a Bombay import-export company, to Obaidur Rahman, Press Officer at the Indian High Commission, who then gave the report to Pearson (373-374).
  • Gould seems to base this information off of interviews, though he does not include any visible citations.
Venkataramani, K.S. Roosevelt, Gandhi, Churchill: America and the Last Phase of India’s Freedom Struggle. New Delhi: Radiant Publishers, 1983.
  • In response to an indignant letter from Phillips’ wife, Roosevelt speculated that Welles might have been the source of the leak: “because of the friendship between Sumner Welles and Drew Pearson, the suspicion points to him” (qtd. on 212).
  • In a biography of William Stephenson, fellow operative H. Montgomery Hyde identified Chaman Lal as the person who gave the Report to Pearson (212).
  • In an interview with the author, however, Dr. Anup Singh (former editor of India Today and board-member of the National Committee for India’s Freedom) rejected Hyde’s account because while Lal claimed to have been the leaker, he had no role in the drama.  Instead, according to Singh, an sympathetic officer in the State Department gave the document to Obaidur Rahman who gave it to Singh who, in turn, gave the report to Pearson (213).


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