303. Editorial Note

On December 3, the General Assembly adopted a series of resolutions relating to South West Africa. The United States was a cosponsor of Resolution 934(X) which accepted and endorsed the International Court of Justice advisory opinion of June 7. Resolution 940(X) reiterated previous General Assembly resolves that South West Africa should be placed under the Trusteeship System by means of an agreement conforming with the provisions of Chapter XII of the Charter. Resolution 942(X) requested the ICJ to provide an advisory opinion on the question of granting oral hearings to petitioners on matters relating to the Territory of South West Africa.

The United States voted against Resolution 940(X) on the grounds that reiteration of previous resolves, some of which the United States had supported, would serve no useful purpose. In respect to the issue addressed by Resolution 942(X), the United States initially was one of the sponsors of a draft resolution (U.N. doc. A/C.4/L.405) stating that the oral hearing of petitioners by the Committee on South West Africa was inadmissible as not in accordance with the procedure of the Mandate System. When it became apparent the draft resolution could not command a two-thirds majority, the United States backed the submission of the question to the Court so as to obtain a solution. See Yearbook of the United Nations 1955, pages 263–272. A summary of the action taken by the Tenth Session of the General Assembly on the question of South West Africa is in instruction 5619, January 26. (Department of State, Central Files, 320/1–2656)