During conversations in Washington on October 5, 1950, between South African Defense Minister Erasmus and Secretary of State Acheson and Secretary of Defense Marshall and in a note of October 9, 1950, to Secretary Acheson, the Government of the Union of South Africa stated that it had adopted a policy to regard any attack on the African continent as an attack upon South Africa. In implementation of the policy decision, the Government of South Africa expressed a willingness to send an expeditionary force of an armored division and air fighter group to North Africa on the outbreak of hostilities provided that South Africa was able to obtain the equipment required for the expeditionary force at the time the force went into action and on “the least onerous financial terms”.
On December 15 the Secretary of State addressed letters to the appropriate chairmen of the committees of Congress as required under the Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1949, as amended, stating that the Government of the Union of South Africa had been determined eligible to receive military assistance in accordance with the terms of Section 408(e) (1) (c) of the act. Acheson explained that the decision had been reached because the Government of the Union of South Africa had stated that it would regard any Communist attack on the African continent as an attack upon South Africa, and that the port facilities and continued United States access to the manganese and other mineral deposits in South Africa contributed to the security of the United States.
For documentation on the United States-South African exchange of October 1950 and the subsequent discussions within the United States to assess the eligibility of the Union of South Africa to receive reimbursable military assistance under the Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1949, see Foreign Relations, 1950, volume v, pages 1832 ff.