350/12–2951: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the Union of South Africa 1


145. Reur unnumbered Dec 29 3 p. m. your reply to Malan’s criticism UN treatment SoAfr is approved.

We believe SoAfr wld derive no benefit from introduction in GA of Res to effect action Comite 4 in inviting Herero Chiefs for hearing was illegal. First even if such Res strongly supported by US we consider chances its passage nil, and its introduction wld undoubtedly provide occasion renewed criticism SoAfr policies. Moreover as stated [Page 721] Deptel 128 rptd Paris Gadel 4562 we think GA Comites empowered if they so desire invite persons appear before them but believe advisability such invitations quite another matter and one which depends upon circumstances each case and particularly upon extent hearings wld contribute solution particular problem concerned. In general, Dept believes such invitations shld be issued sparingly. We do not see therefore how USDel cld support Res along lines desired by Union.

Dept still considers that SoAfr interests wld best be served by negotiating agreement along lines proposed SWAfr Comite. If such an agreement were negotiated it wld in general establish procedures with respect to SWAfr which existed under League Nations Mandates System and wld thereby strengthen SoAfr position in opposing such invitations as that issued by Comite 4 to Herero Chiefs.

USDel at its discretion authorized approach Donges upon his return acquaint him US views as set forth foregoing Paras. You may also set forth same views if you consider desirable in future conversations; you may have with Malan or other SoAfr officials. While Dept wishes you use ur discretion it seems desirable from here it be made plain SoAfr Govt that in our opinion Fourth Comite invitation to Herero Chiefs was not ultra vires.

We are considering taking advantage opportunity afforded by Malan’s approach to you to send appeal from Secy to Malan along fol lines “I have given much thought to question SWAfr and consideration of this question by UN since my conversation with Dr. Donges during 1950 session GA. Developments at present GA session have intensified my concern over question. I am convinced proposal of Ad Hoc Comite for SWAfr affords basis generally agreeable settlement. Proposal contains very real safeguards for Union and wld recognize unique status territory. I therefore hope it will be possible your Govt continue negotiations on basis of Ad Hoc Comites proposal with new SWAfr Comite to be set up under Res adopted by Comite 4 on Dec 11 and in this way to work toward solution which wld be satis your Govt and majority members UN and which wld enable Union continue play its full part in work of UN to which it has already made such effective contribution”. Ur comments both re advisability such démarche andiate contents are requested. Dept particularly interested knowing whether in your opinion chances effectiveness this appeal sufficiently great justify involving Secys prestige.

Delga 848 recd Dept this afternoon and being rptd Pretoria. Info contained therein does not alter foregoing. Depts reaction to specific questions raised, however, will follow in separate tel.

  1. Repeated for information to Paris priority and niact as Gadel 619.
  2. Dated December 14, p. 711.