The South African Legation to the Department of State
i. proposed union-u. s. a. reciprocal aid agreement
The annexure hereto shows in the first column the draft note proposed by the State Department and in the second column the same note showing the amendments which the Union Government desire to be effected.35 The amendments are underlined. There are only two of them.
The first one is omission from paragraph 1(a) of the words “and strategic materials”.
Reasons for omission.
- The Union Government consider that inclusion in the agreement of strategic materials would be unfair to the Commonwealth countries whose need for exchange, provided by payments for these materials, is great and whose obligations in support of the sterling area are heavy.
- The proceeds of the Union Government’s surplus gold and raw materials exports are available for the above purposes.
- The words “strategic materials”, or their equivalent, do not appear in any of the agreements concluded between the U.S.A. and Great Britain, Australia or New Zealand.36 South Africa finds it difficult to deal with questions like these in isolation but prefers to deal with them from the standpoint and with a view to the needs of the Commonwealth as a whole.
The second amendment proposed is to omit from the State Department’s note the whole of paragraph 1(d) and to retain paragraph 3(c) of the draft note originally proposed by the Union Government. The Union’s draft follows the precedent of the relevant paragraph in the U. S. A.-Australian agreement.
Reasons for omission.
The reason for the suggested change does not constitute an objection to principle, but political and other considerations here make it necessary to avoid undue indefiniteness. South Africa must also take into account the obligations of the Union in respect of aid being afforded directly to the U.K. The Union Government therefore suggests that the retention in their paragraph 3(c) of the words “in such other places as may be determined” would be sufficient to provide for specific agreement in regard to such specific proposals as may be put forward when the need arises.
ii. re mr. acheson’s memorandum
The Union Government have the following comments to offer in connection with the matters raised in Mr. Acheson’s memorandum of 12th January, 1943,37 and in the conversation he had with the South African Minister on that date:—
- The cash reimbursable proposal is acceptable in principle to the Union Government. The system has in fact already been put into effect by the Office of Lend-Lease Administration some time ago, and it is now in operation in appropriate cases.
- The Union Government do not wish to be committed to “frequent reviews”. They consider that it would be sufficient and satisfactory to acknowledge the right of either Government to raise the question of their respective positions if and when consideration of this question is thought to be necessary.
- The Union Government would be grateful if the question of a refund of previous Lend-Lease credits were not pressed, in view both of the principle and precedent involved and of the Union’s attitude regarding the cash reimbursable proposal.
The Union Government in Lend-Lease matters are not concerned with any question of financial advantage but solely with the means of enabling the Union to maintain a maximum war effort while paying due regard to the situation in the same respect of the Commonwealth countries as a whole.
- Only Department of State draft printed. The changes in the South African draft are explained in this memorandum.↩
- For correspondence concerning agreements
with these countries, see
Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. i, pp. 525 ff. and pp. 537 ff.↩
- For summary, see telegram No. 9, January 14, 11 p.m., to the Consul at Capetown, p. 174.↩
Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. i, pp. 525 ff.↩
- Lend-Lease Act, 55 Stat. 31.↩