341. Telegram From the Embassy in South Africa to the Department of State0

153. I had long cordial talk with Prime Minister today in which he covered his government’s native policy and his thinking in regard to Southwest Africa and British protectorates. Among previously unclarified points that he raised in hour-long discussion was financial help to native areas. He told me that press reports to the contrary his government is prepared to spend many million pounds to make “Bantustans” economically viable. He added that the half million pounds so far appropriated is only a token.

After sketching history of the Union’s relations with Southwest Africa he said that it is his government’s policy to cooperate with UN that he had instructed his UN representatives to make it clear that the Union is quite willing to enter into complete review of entire question. He said that adverse resolution by Afro-Asian nations however might make such gesture difficult for him in view of anti-UN feeling in the country at large.

Questioned on British protectorates, Prime Minister, without actually saying so, gave me definite impression that he is contemplating some sort of economic sanctions if British continue to go ahead with plans toward making these enclaves self-supporting. He pointed out heatedly that the protectorates should belong to the Union and that if they were added to his country problem of land for new native states would be largely solved as one half of total area of such an enlarged Union could then be in native hands.

The Prime Minister has a great deal of confidence in his powers as a persuader and said rather wistfully that he wished it were possible for him to go to America and explain his government’s policies. I did not urge him to embark on such a crusade but said I would report him faithfully during my forthcoming visits to Washington.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 745A.00/10–3059. Confidential.