350/12–1351: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Union of South Africa (Gallman) to the Secretary of State


164. Prime Min Malan announced in Capetown last night for release this morning’s papers that South Africa (re Embtel 155, Dec. 6) wld withdraw from proceedings Gen Assembly “pending the possible hearing and satisfactory consideration our complaint against fourth comite”. Full text given Reuters by SAPA. Emb airmailing copy today. Substance as fols:1

Claims “overwhelming majority of the people” feel “deep indignation” over UN action. “In conflict with UN in own charter and rules of procedures contact has been made over our heads with individuals in Southwest Africa and Michael Scott, a well-known, hostile and fanatical foreigner and agitator, has been called on give evidence against us.” Thus “rights allocated to us under the Treaty of Versailles have been violated. The UN has committed aggression against us”.
South Africa no longer satisfied with ordinary protests. “More forceful and, if needs be, drastic action called for”.
Donges recalled for oral report.
“The fundamental principle of the charter is this: That, this organization will not poke its nose into the domestic matters of other countries. If we had not laid down such a principle there wld have been absolute chaos. No one in the world, no nation, big or small, wld have known where it was.
“Unless nations are acknowledged as being sovereign and conduct their own internal affairs according to their own concept and their own system, you will have chaos in the world.
On basis reply of president GA refusing Donges appeal, Union assumes Assembly “silently associates itself with action of Fourth Comite, and onus now rests on GA to prove to the contrary and provide opportunity for presentation and discussion our complaint.
Lest anyone think this first time South Africa experienced antipathy of UN or that this applies only to present govt, he quoted from Smuts’2 speech to Union Senate on Jan. 30, 1947 to show that Smuts had same experience.
From outset, UN alleged it had claim on trusteeship of Southwest Africa, “and for that reason, it cld force us into anything it wished in spite of charter”.
UN even went further and after Smuts’ last voluntary annual report, trusteeship comite “openly, or by implication, demanded full equality in all respects between all races and colors in Southwest Africa, including equal franchise, removal of residential separation in urban area, and breaking up of native reserves”.
“Our withdrawal from the proceedings of the UN at least for this session, does not mean the resignation of our membership of that organization. We still want to believe that that organization has done much, and still can do much, for the maintenance of world peace. We will therefore continue to participate in the political comite in the discussions on gen disarmament and on Korea”.
Dr. Malan appealed to all South Africans of all political parties, to support the govt in its action.

Dept pass Paris. Sent Dept 164, rptd Paris unn (for GADel).

  1. A verbatim text was sent to the Department in Pretoria’s despatch 376, December 13, 1951 (320/12–1351).
  2. The late Field Marshal Jan Christian Smuts, one of the founders of the South African Union, sometime Prime Minister of the Union, prominent world statesman.