320/1–652: Telegram

The Acting Chairman of the United States Delegation to the General Assembly (Roosevelt) to the Secretary of State 1


Delga 890. Subject: Southwest Africa. Re proposed SA move in GA described Gadel 570,2 USGADel has considered matter in light existing conditions here and of the various procedural possibilities, and offers fol recommendations to Dept in hope they will be helpful:

1. Del believes it would be useful to give SA del our views in most frank and friendly way, as far in advance Jan 11 plenary session as possible in hope dissuade SA from course which we consider seriously detrimental SA’s own interests.

[Page 720]

2. Del considers it tactically desirable to make this approach to SA del soonest in view confidential info from Robinson (Canada), Delga 851,3 that Donges was visibly shaken at Commonwealth group mtg yesterday when UK and Australia, whom he relies on for most support, strongly urged SA not to attempt to have Comite Four res declared illegal. Robinson felt immediate US approach, following strong UK-Australian opposition yesterday, might dissuade Donges.

3. Fol points might be made:

In view consistent US position concerning right GA comites hear such persons as necessary for performance of tasks, and in view our belief that Comite Four res to hear Herero spokesmen was legal, US cannot support res to have GA declare Comite Four res illegal.
Such a res as SA contemplates wld certainly fail, and such a GA decision wld set a dangerous precedent which wld be cited in future efforts obtain Comite Four hearings for others.
Submittal res under which GA wld declare Comite Four res illegal wld open acrimonious debate in which SA conduct wld be attacked and vilified by numerous dels who might in turn introduce strong res condemning SA. (USGADel fears this might give Malan additional fuel for extremist action concerning SA relations with UN.)

4. In discussing other ways by which SA might accomplish its objective, del examined possibility of suggesting that SA might introduce new agenda item referring to Comite Six a constitutional question concerning the general problem of granting hearings in Comite Four, but del concluded it wld be undesirable for issue be raised in this or any other form.

  1. Repeated to Pretoria as 148, January 8, 1952, 4:31 p. m. (320/1–652).
  2. See footnote 1, p. 715.
  3. The Delegation’s Daily Classified Telegram Summary No. 46, January 5, 1952, 1 a. m., not printed.