395. Telegram From the Embassy in South Africa to the Department of State 0

59. Department pass Defense. Acting under instructions Department telegram 221 Clark and I met this morning with Jooste and Botha leaving with them draft aide-memoire containing verbatim text of reference telegram and incorporating expression our appreciation evidence SAG willingness cooperate in extension tracking agreement.2 I made clear we prefer convey our intent regarding military equipment procurement in aide-memoire, altering as little as possible form and content draft letter provided Department telegram 460.3 I also gave Jooste additional copies draft letter already furnished informally to Peter Phili on December 11.

Jooste said he would pass our aide-memoire and draft letter immediately to his own people and would take up with Cabinet first thing Monday morning. Until Cabinet had reacted he could make no comment officially although it was evident from his pleased expression that he felt negotiations were “back on the tracks.”

I enquired about further “negotiable details” which Jooste might have in mind. He said he had opposed an earlier suggestion of three-months termination notice and would prefer six which was more consistent with existing agreements. I replied that six months was exact period we had in mind as he would find when he read our draft letter. One or two other points Jooste said he preferred not to discuss further until Cabinet had seen our proposals. In general however, he agreed with us that we should introduce as few new elements as possible into discussion beyond those which USG already prepared to clear.

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Comment: We were encouraged by evident satisfaction with which our reply to SAG aide-memoire of March 9 was received and by Jooste responses, which were free of implications that any new obstacles from their side evident on horizon.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.70X7/3-1762. Secret; Priority. Repeated to Pretoria.
  2. Telegram 22, March 15, authorized Satterthwaite to express the U.S. Government’s gratification at South Africa’s willingness to cooperate in extension of the tracking agreement and to propose a formal exchange of letters. (Ibid., 611.70X7/3-1062)
  3. Telegram 52 from Cape Town, March 9, transmitted the text of a South African aide-memoire that stated the South African Government was prepared to agree to the U.S. proposal regarding an arrangement to be arrived at between the two governments in regard to U.S. tracking operations for an unfixed period subject to termination after due notice by either party. (Ibid., 611.70X7/3-962)
  4. Not found.
  5. On June 15, Satterthwaite and Jooste exchanged diplomatic notes in Cape Town signifying the conclusion of the Missile Tracking Agreement. The Embassy in Cape Town transmitted the texts of the notes and accompanying aides-memoire to the Department of State in despatch 81 from Cape Town, June 18. (Department of State, Central Files, 611.70X7/6-1862)