Editorial Note

On November 9, 1951 in Washington, Acting Secretary of State James E. Webb and South African Chargé Basil Jarvie exchanged notes constituting an agreement regarding the sale of military equipment to the Union under the Mutual Defense Assistance Act of 1919, as amended. The notes set forth those undertakings and assurances required in the administration of the Mutual Defense Assistance Act. For the texts of the notes, see 3 UST (pt. 2) 2565; TIAS 2424; 160 UNTS 41. A brief announcement of the agreement was issued to the press by the Department of State on November 10; see Department of State Bulletin, November 19, 1951, page 825. Department of State Press Officer Lincoln White explained to newsmen on November 9 that the agreement involved no outlay of money by the United States but simply permitted the Union of South Africa to buy military equipment in the United States provided it agreed to certain undertakings including that South Africa would not reexport the equipment without the permission [Page 1460] of the United States, that the shipments would only be used for the defense of South Africa, and that they would be used in accordance with the objectives of the United Nations. Telegram 133, November 10, from Pretoria reported the following statement issued by the South African Foreign Ministry on November 10:

“The Department of External Affairs announces that the Union Government has made an agreement with the United States Government in regard to the supply of military equipment. It will be recalled that it was previously announced that the policy of the Union Government is to range itself in the event of a war against Communism alongside the anti-Communistic powers in the defence of Africa and with a view to ensuring that its military forces are properly equipped with modern arms, the Union approached the United States and other countries for the procurement of its requirements which cannot be manufactured in this country. It was announced earlier this year that South Africa has been declared eligible to receive from the United States reimbursable military assistance under the Mutual Defence Assistance Act 1949 as amended and since then negotiations have been in progress in regard to the terms on which the equipment needed by the Union should be supplied. These negotiations have now culminated in the agreement mentioned. South African Press Association summation above release adds: A State Department press officer said the equipment would be used only for the defense of South Africa and in accordance with United Nations objectives.” (745A.5 MAP/11–1051)

The basic documentation on the negotiation of the agreement of November 9, 1951 is included in Department file 740.5 MAP.