A new new deal?

There has been a natural tendency in India to see in every move of President-elect Kennedy an encouraging prospect for ourselves. This has been strengthened by Mr. Kennedy’s top appointments. Mr. Dean Rusk, having been head of the aid- dispensing Rockefeller Foundation, has thus become a popular Secretary of the State. Mr. Chester Bowles, the new Under- Secretary of State, is of course closest to India’s heart and his appointment will continue to be hailed as the best indication of an India bias in the new administration’s policies. Generally on the liberal side, Mr. Kennedy’s other nominees also enjoy great reputation in this part of the world. Mr. Adlai Stevenson, as U.S.Ambassador to the United Nations, will be looked upon as a source of strength in future international crises. Also to be taken into account is the naming of Mr. Mennen Williams as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, a measure of the importance Mr. Kennedy attaches to new Africa in the years to come. It has not been finally announced, but Professor J.K.Galbraith is recognised already as Mr.Kennedy’s Ambassador to India. And considering the fact that Prof. Galbraith is Mr. Kennedy’s top economic adviser and an internationally recognised authority on the subject, it is evident that Indo- American relations during the next four years at least will incline towards an economic rather than a political angle. These are all encouraging portents no doubt. But it would be wisom for India and other countries of the underdeveloped world not to get over- enthusiastic about this. The U.S.A. is certainly going to wear a new look, but the American administration is always under the strict control of Congress. Whatever the President himself may feel on foreign aid and economic problems, the U.S. Congress need not share his enthusiasm. Indeed, it will be a perennial restraining influence on him.

16th December 1960.

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