350/12–2951: Telegram

The Ambassador in the Union of South Africa (Gallman) to the Secretary of State 1


Unnumbered. Personal for the Secretary. Prime Minister Malan asked me to call his residence this morning. He explained that as a result of an exchange of views with Donges, who would leave South Africa by air Monday the 31st for Paris, he wished to make a personal appeal to you through me.

Donges, is returning to Paris with draft resolution which he wishes, on appropriate occasion, to introduce in Assembly. Sense of resolution is that, in the absence of charter provision, committee four’s action in inviting Herero chiefs to appear before it is illegal. Prime Ministers request is that you ask our UN delegation to get in touch with Donges, on his return to Paris.

I told Malan that I would convey his request to you. I inquired though why he was asking that our delegation take initiative in approaching Donges. His reply was that Donges had appealed to President of Assembly for hearing on committee four’s action but that President of Assembly had said he could do nothing. That had led to South Africa “provisionally” and he repeated “provisionally” withdrawing from General Assembly proceedings the onus for present situation therefore rests with Assembly, first step in trying to resolve situation, he said, should come from source other than South Africa.

How I asked did he envisage getting proposed resolution before Assembly when South African delegation was abstaining from proceedings. That, he replied, was something Donges would want to discuss with steering committee.

Before leaving this subject Malan said he hoped very much way could be prepared for bringing proposed resolution before Assembly and that action favorable to South Africa by Assembly would result. Otherwise the result would “at least” be prolonged abstention of South Africa from General Assembly proceedings.

Malan then at length reviewed “intolerable” treatment of South Africa by UN in spite of what South Africa was doing in defense of Africa and Middle East and in Korea. From this he turned to detailed justification of administration of Southwest Africa. He made much of South Africa’s “right” under League mandate system, to integrate Southwest Africa administratively in South Africa. Administratively South Africa and Southwest Africa were “one” if outsiders questioned [Page 716]acts of South African Parliament, they were interfering in internal affairs.

I responded that what South Africa was doing in Korea, was prepared to do in the defense of Africa and the Middle East, and was doing through sharing its mineral wealth in strengthening free world was fully appreciated by US. As for Southwest Africa, I said that it was true that South African Govt had administrative rights, “up to a point”, but it was also true that the IJC had rendered opinion that international status of Southwest Africa could not be changed unilaterally, the important thing to remember, however in these difficult days was that all free nations suffer through weakening of UN. There must be give and take. I added that if it had not been for role our delegation in Paris had played, chances are that resolution on [South?] West Africa more critical of South Africa would have been adopted. We very much hope that South Africa would return to Committee Four and General Assembly proceedings. Complete withdrawal from UN by South Africa would be most harmful to South Africa and cause of whole free world.

Malan replied that his govt valued highly the good relations with the United States, especially in struggle against Communism leading part played by the United States in that field was deeply appreciated here. South Africa needed the United States in building up its armaments, and it was glad in turn to assist the United States with its mineral wealth.

On taking leave I told Malan that I wanted to keep in close touch with him [and?] he said he wanted that too.

  1. Repeated to the Embassy in France as Gadel 570, December 31, 1:33 p. m., for the United States Delegation to the General Assembly, with the addition of the following: “Dept advises utmost caution due serious implications this request. Instructions follow soonest.” (350/12–2951)