862R.014/10–1546: Telegram

The Ambassador in France (Caffery) to the Secretary of State


5178. Deptel 5049, September 24.10 Officials FonOff stated informally they would be opposed to suggestion that UN Commission be established for purpose of visiting Southwest Africa and formulating, on basis of findings, recommendations as to whether mandate should be annexed or placed under trusteeship. They averred such suggestion would be dangerous precedent which might lead GA to establish commissions for purpose of carrying on investigations in nonselfgoverning territories other than trust areas, which was not contemplated by charter. In this connection view was expressed informally by FonOff officials that proposed commission would necessarily include Soviet representative and that he would use his position as sounding board for Soviet propaganda attacking colonial system.

Speaking off record, opinion was expressed that there would be no objection on part of French Govt to annexation of Southwest Africa by the Union. Although there was no question in minds of FonOff that Union was prepared to promote to utmost the well-being of [Page 125]inhabitants of territory suggestion was made that consular officers of remaining effective principal Allied and associated powers might visit territory for purpose of estimating desires of inhabitants and of their best interests.

  1. Not printed.