374. Memorandum for the Record0


  • Long Range Proving Ground Facilities in the Union of South Africa

I-12, 823/61

On Friday, February 24th, Mr. Haydn Williams told me of a conversation which he had had with Mr. Hare, Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, concerning the proposed agreement with the Union of South Africa for the establishment of a missile and space vehicle tracking station near Pretoria.1

Mr. Williams stated that Mr. Hare indicated that the proposed agreement was under review by the Department of State and the latter wished to know the importance which the Department of Defense attached to the proposed agreement. This morning, I spoke to General Yates who reaffirmed the long-range need for the facilities as essential to the development of long range missiles and space vehicle operations. General Yates also indicated his view that it was important that we proceed to negotiate a permanent agreement with the Union of South Africa as recommended by Ambassador Crowe. Following my conversation with General Yates, I reaffirmed to Mr. Hare the need for the facilities.

I asked Mr. Hare whether he would like a briefing by the Department of Defense or a letter from the Department of Defense explaining its continuing requirement for the facilities. Mr. Hare said that this would not be necessary but suggested that I record the Defense view in a Memorandum for the Record, a copy of which should be sent to him.

William E. Lang 2
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 64 A 2382, Union of South Africa 000.1-680.1, 1961. Secret. Drafted by William E. Lang, Director of the Office of Foreign Military Rights Affairs, International Security Affairs, Department of Defense. Copies were sent to Hare, NITZE, and General Yates.
  2. In August 1960, the Department of State agreed to a Department of Defense proposal to enter into negotiations with the Union of South Africa for the establishment of a U.S. missile and satellite tracking station in South Africa. See Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, vol. XV, pp. 755756.
  3. Printed from a copy that indicates Lang signed the original