320/12–1851: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Union of South Africa

secret

130. Fol is background on SW Africa question at GA: USGADel, in view US membership and active role in Ad Hoc Comite on SW Africa, was instructed support that Comite’s report in Comite Four. Also, if Union maintained stand that Ad Hoc Comite’s proposal unacceptable as basis further consultations Del was instructed attempt moderate any unduly critical or condemnatory action by GA. As situation in Comite Four made move for such action likely, Del joined with two other members Ad Hoc Comite (Denmark, Thailand) and other interested members Comite Four in exploring possibilities moderate Res acceptable to majority Comite Four. When draft of such Res [Page 714]emerged Del felt US shld agree co-sponsor in order help secure widest support in Comite Four, and Dept agreed.

Draft Res submitted on Dec. 7, co-sponsored by Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Iraq, Philippines, and above-mentioned Comite members, and adopted by Comite Four Dec. 11 by vote 39–5 (Soviet bloc)–8 (Aus., Belg., Guatemala, Mex., N.Z., Peru, UK, Yugoslavia). First eleven paras are recital of background and not of controversal character. Operative paras, except certain minor verbal changes not recd in Dept, being sent in fol tel.1 Re para 16, election members reconstituted Comite not yet held.

Del discussed earlier draft of Res with Union Del. Latter particularly objected to word “deplores” with which para 14 originally opened. This was subsequently changed to “regrets”. During adoption Res by Comite para which stated endorsement Ad Hoc Comite proposals “in principle, as minimum” was eliminated as suggestion Dom. Rep. with concurrence all sponsors. Reference to Ad Hoc Comite’s proposal in para 15 of Res also eliminated. Over-emphasis on Comite’s proposals stated as reason for these amendments. Del states these references among most unacceptable to Union. Del has informed Dept that “Union Del aware US playing important role adoption firm but reasonable Res based acceptance Court’s opinion”. However, it also true that Jooste has predicted to Del that “South Africa wall probably never again return to Comite Four”.

In future conversations you may have on this question with Union Govt officials, you may wish emphasize that if US had not participated actively in preparation and sponsorship Res, it is almost certain that a Res much more critical of Union and more unsatis to them wld have emerged and wld have been difficult, if not impossible, defeat. Many supporters eight-power Res might, for example, have given support extreme Guat Res had not widely sponsored moderate Res been introduced first.

With Ref statement urtel 155, Dec. 6, regarding possibility Union withdrawal from UN, Dept strongly hopes Union will not consider such action necessary. You may wish express this view to Union Govt officials on appropriate occasion, pointing out grave damage that wld result to unity of free world at this critical time.

Acheson
  1. Telegram 131 to Pretoria, December 18, not printed.