848A.24/359: Telegram

The Minister in the Union of South Africa (MacVeagh) to the Secretary of State

236. Referring to my telegram No. 235, August 25, 7 p.m.46 The following is the draft of the Supply Council’s constitution and terms of reference unanimously approved by our meeting. It is being submitted to you for your approval and is also being telegraphed to London by the British High Commissioner here for the approval of his Government.

“Memorandum on proposed constitution, purpose and functions of the Joint Supply Council for the Union of South Africa.

The title of the Council shall be: Joint Supply Council for the Union of South Africa.
Representation on the Council shall be as follows: Union of South Africa, representative, Dr. H. J. Van der Bijl, Director General of Supplies, alternate, Mr. R. P. Plewman, Deputy Director General of Supplies. United Kingdom, representative, the High Commissioner [Page 203]for the United Kingdom (or in his absence the Acting High Commissioner), alternate, H.M. Senior Trade Commissioner (or in his absence the Deputy High Commissioner or a supply official). United States of America, representative, the Minister for the United States of America, alternate, the Commercial Attaché for the United States of America. Experts and other officials may be invited to attend meetings of the Council in an advisory capacity.
The chairman of the Council elected at the first meeting of the Council.
The Union Government will provide the Secretariat, and arrange for the keeping of minutes and the maintenance of other necessary records.
To be authoritative the decisions of the Council must be unanimous. If an unanimous decision is not reached the dissenting government will not be bound by the decision of the concurring governments.
It is agreed that the procedure of the Council be flexible and the activities of the Council be not conducted with undue formality.
It is agreed that no additional organization be set up by the Union Government to function in regard to supply matters, that the existing supply organizations be maintained as far as possible, and that the functions which the Union High Commissioner in London and the South African Supply Mission in Washington perform in relation to inter-Allied supply machinery in London and Washington be disturbed as little as possible.
(a) The Union Government undertake to coordinate through the Council the investigation into the Union’s supply requirements and production resources, and to arrange for the Union’s over all import requirements (other than finished combat material for direct use by the military) to be coordinated through the Union’s representative for review and final approval by the Council (b) The United Kingdom and the United States Governments undertake to coordinate through the Council the activity of any mission or agency in the Union concerned with matters within the competency of the Council (c) The Council shall, when necessary, coordinate information relating to the supply of material (e.g. base minerals) from the Union, and advise in regard to the Union’s resources and productive capacity in this connection.
Realizing that on matters of broad policy advice of the Council will be particularly valuable to the Union in planning production and estimating requirements, and to the United Kingdom, the U.S. of America and the combined supply boards in considering the urgency and priority to be given to supply requirements, it is agreed that the prime functions of the Council shall be: (a) to examine and give authoritative advice in regard to the importance of the Union’s various industries in relation to its national economy, and the extent to which the Union’s economic war effort can most usefully be developed in the light of present and probably future conditions, and in relation to the productive resources available, (b) to review and ascertain the Union’s over all requirements programs, as prepared by Union authorities, for achieving the best utilization of its resources in the war effort and for the needs of its domestic economy, (c) to determine and approve the Union’s essential import requirements within the agreed programs, to review and make a determination regarding any vital or important items of the requirements or presenting or likely to present special difficulty, [Page 204](d) to review the fulfillment of programs with particular reference to priorities and to special needs, (e) to give authoritative advice or replies to inquiries which may arise in London or in Washington on important aspects of policy relating to Union production or requirements, and (f) to assist the Union Government in furnishing the Union High Commissioner in London and the South African Government Supply Mission in Washington with desirable shipping programs for communication to the appropriate authorities in London and Washington.
While it is clearly understood that the determination and approval of requirements by the Council does not carry with it any assurance of supply, and that the final decision as to maximum quantities available to the Union, sources of supply and availability of shipping must be made in London and in Washington, it is agreed that the approval and endorsement by the Council of the essentiality and justification of the Union’s requirements will be accepted as authoritative by the supply authorities in the United Kingdom and in the United States of America.
It is accepted that supply requirements be based on information contained in the OLLA form (Lend-Lease Requirements Branch form No. 1) in all cases where it is practicable to do so.
The Council shall endeavor to concentrate on:—(a) items regarded as vital to Union production or economy, and (b) critical items in regard to which difficulties have arisen or are likely to arise.
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