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Ambassador Galbraith presents his credentials

India had won her freedom from British rule only thirteen years before Kennedy became President, and antique habits of state and diplomacy still lingered. Shortly after arriving in New Delhi in April 1961, Galbraith went to present his credentials at the President's Palace, riding in a handsome motorcade, flanked by motorcycles and patrol cars. He cut a formidable figure, outfitted in an elegantly tailored suit, gray silk tie, and black silk top hat, which brought his overall height to well over seven feet.

At the palace he was met by a detachment of Bengal Lancers mounted on perfectly matched bay horses and was escorted in by an honor guard of Sikh officers, "perhaps the best turned-out soldiers in the world," as he described them. The ceremony that followed--the speeches, the military band and the anthems, the presentation of papers, the champagne toasts--was "exceedingly  well done; the Indians approach ceremony as though they meant it, rather than, as in the United States, in a kind of abashed reluctance ... When we emerged to come home, my automobile flag was unfurled for the first time."