339. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in South Africa0

41. Reference Deptels 83, 90; Embtels 106, 15, 325.1 On July 21 Mr. Murphy met with Ambassador du Plessis at Department’s request and outlined our expectations as to how South West Africa issue would probably develop at coming 14th UNGA.2 Du Plessis said he would convey substance of conversation to Pretoria. Following points discussed in particular:

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UN debate on Good Offices Committee’s Report, which difficult and acrimonious in 1958, would probably be more so this year since gap between Union and UN thus far not bridged.
US had tried over period of years play helpful and moderating role re SWA at UN but we puzzled as to what more could be done in view GOC’s unfruitful efforts thus far find mutually acceptable solution of problem. Our freedom of action to moderate tone of forthcoming UNGA debate would depend on progress made in the Union’s negotiations with the GOC.
ICJ’s advisory opinions on Territory’s international status and Union’s accountability under League Mandate3 with which US has agreed and has voted for UN resolutions pursuant thereto.
UN members most active in SWA case were Afro-Asians and some LA’s but certain European countries also involved.
Our objective is to help find acceptable solution, to which end GOC will probably again meet with Union’s representatives in New York in September.4
If Department wishes discuss matter further with Union we will do so with Union UNDel in New York in accordance du Plessis’ desire have discussions of a matter, which primarily involves UN aspect, handled there.

During conversation, which amicable throughout, du Plessis reiterated and elaborated on points contained in Louw’s May 15 letter to Chairman of GOC.5 He added however that from Union’s viewpoint, it preferable talks with GOC continue, for several years if necessary, rather than have them break down with what he implied might be unforeseeable consequences.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 745A.00/7–2259. Confidential. Drafted by Officer in Charge of Trusteeship Affairs Nicholas Feld, cleared by Ferguson, and approved by Walmsley. Repeated to London and USUN.
  2. Telegrams 83 and 90 to Capetown, May 29 and June 12; telegram 106 from Capetown, June 18; and telegrams 325 and 15 from Pretoria, June 5 and July 22. They all concerned a proposed approach to the South African Government to urge a final effort to find an acceptable solution for the South West Africa problem. (Ibid., 745X.021/5–2859, 745X.021/6–1259, 745X.021/6–1859, 745X.021/6–559, and 745A.00/7–2259, respectively)
  3. A memorandum of the conversation is ibid., 320.5745X/7–2160.
  4. For text of the Mandate, see U.N. doc. A/1901, pp. 9–10.
  5. The Good Offices Committee reported to the General Assembly in September that it had met with South African representatives in New York, September 11–21, but had not succeeded in finding a basis for an agreement under its terms of reference. For text of the report, see U.N. doc. A/4224.
  6. The letter stated that the Union Government was prepared to collaborate with the Good Offices Committee on the basis of the 1957 U.N. resolution but that if the Committee felt the 1958 resolution prevented it from giving further consideration to the partition proposal, renewing the discussions would serve no useful purpose. The text was transmitted in telegram 1068 from USUN, May 28. (Department of State, Central Files, 745X.021/5–2859)