320/12–1451: Telegram


The United States Representative at the United Nations (Austin) to the Secretary of State


Delga 651. Daily Classified Summary No. 35. December 14, 1951, 12:10 a. m.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

[Page 854]

Indians in South Africa

The task before the General Assembly in the question of Indians in South Africa is to see to it that last year’s resolution is implemented, in the opinion of Panikkar (India). Since no conference had been held under the resolution, it was time to establish the commission provided for in it, he said.

Panikkar believed that if South Africa declined to appoint its representative on the commission, the UN should arrange for the appointment of a representative on behalf of South Africa. Thus, the Commission would comprise one representative appointed by India and Pakistan and two representatives appointed by the UN.

As to the possibility of the appointment of a single mediator, Panikkar stated his delegation would have to ascertain the attitude of the Indian Government. The conversation indicated the Indian Delegation had not made real preparation for consideration of the item next week, and apparently does not have any particular resolution in mind.

In speculating on possible developments in the question of Indians in South Africa, Tweedsmuir (UK) expressed the opinion India would introduce a resolution which would be sufficiently strong to arouse the ire of South Africa. He thought the Union would reply by attacking inequalities in India with the result that other countries would pitch in and it might develop into a very hot battle.

The UK and the US, in Tweedsmuir’s opinion, would have to do everything possible to reduce the temperature and be prepared to present a resolution on which agreement could be obtained. He hoped his speculation would be wrong and debate might not be as heated as he feared.

Tweedsmuir saw no inclination on the Union’s part to take a more cooperative view.

Hamilton (South Africa) reiterated to the US General Assembly Delegation that he believed there was a chance of changing the South African Government’s position if top-level continuing pressure were exercised in Washington. He also thought a top-level conference in Paris, arranged through the South African Ambassador to the US, might have some effect or at least be a move in the right direction toward settlement of the question of Indians in South Africa. (Hamilton is a General Smuts appointee who is not in sympathy with the Malan Government in some of its positions.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .