ODA Files, Lot 60 D 512

Discussion Brief for Bilateral Talks on Colonial Policy To Be Held at London and Paris (Agenda Item IV (a) 4)


Item IV, (a) 4—Administrative Unions (for talks with UK only)

I. Problem: To determine position on question of administrative unions between trust and adjacent territories with particular reference to future development of such unions in British territories. Non-administering Members view unions with suspicion, support investigation of them, desire safeguards for political identity of trust territories. So far as question of principle is concerned, administering Members, including U.S., support unions, cite provision for them in various trusteeship agreements (UK has three unions: Togo with Gold Coast; Cameroons with Nigeria; Tanganyika with Kenya–Uganda. France has none. Belgium has one: Ruanda-Urundi with Belgian Congo. Australia has one: New Guinea with Papua. U.S. has none.)

II. Recommended united States Position:

A. U.S. should maintain previous position on general question of administrative unions, i.e.:

U.S. aware that unions authorized under certain conditions by trusteeship agreements, believes that in certain circumstances they may have positive advantages, such as more economical administration, avoiding fragmentation, etc; cannot be condemned per se.
U.S. would judge each administrative union by following standards:
Status and identity territory should be maintained until inhabitants reach stage political maturity enabling own decision as to form of government, political associations, if any;
Political, social, economic, educational advancement should not be subordinated to interests any other territory;
Union should not prevent separate financial, statistical, other records to TC.

B. Be specific unions and their future development, U.S. will continue policy of examining operation using above standards, and

U.S. would be glad to know UK views on future relationship between Togoland and Gold Coast and between Cameroons and Nigeria, with particular reference to the constitutional developments in these areas. U.S. is aware that UK considers that Togo–Gold Coast and Cameroons–Nigeria are not strictly “administrative unions” but come under 5(a) of the trusteeship agreement.
U.S. believes that although not required, it would nevertheless be advisable to inform TC in advance of major changes involving administrative unions as matter courtesy, good tactics. With reference to the Tanganyika union, U.S. will give careful consideration to any [Page 633] UK proposals for future of East Africa Central Legislative Assembly, which is presently under review.

C. U.S. believes TC’s Standing Committee on Administrative Unions is functioning satisfactorily and may possibly serve to reduce agitation on this subject.