397. Telegram From Secretary of State Rusk to the Department of State 0

Secto 88. Fol based on uncleared MemCon: During course two hour discussion with Secy on Oct 6,1 FonMin Louw made somewhat rambling presentation South African position mostly along lines previously brought out by him, by Amb Naude, or in GSA aide-memoire handed Secy Aug 31. Among chief points touched on were:

Most of SA’s troubles and those of US as well due to new found strength Afro-Asian-Bloc coalition.
GSA believes just solution racial problem is in gradual development of Bantustans, permitting Africans slow but steady move toward self-government.
Communist undercurrent in SA growing stronger and GSA forced to take unusual measures to deal with it.
GSA seeking closer relations with other African states but recent overtures to Madagascar turned down flatly as was move toward Japan.
FonMin expressed discouragement over political future in much of Africa including deteriorating situations in Nigeria, Kenya, Angola, Tanganyika and Rhodesias. Said target of Africans not just colonialism but White domination and even removal White man from scene. He quoted series anti-White utterances as proving this point.
Louw said SA not Africa but Europe. Much of agitation in SA being encouraged from UN and by US citizens, such as George Hauser of ACA. Critical remarks of Asst Secy Williams unhelpful. Many so-called African petitioners “not genuine.” Real headquarters for African revolutionary movement now moved from Ghana to Cairo.
Further discussion of Bantustans followed, including problems with troublesome visitors, fact that Bantu not farmer but cattleman, and growing instances of sabotage.
Louw explained his govt firmly on side of West in Korea, Berlin, etc., and cooperating closely with US space program. He wondered why US leaving GSA to fend for itself in face communist gains in Ghana, Mali, Guinea and elsewhere in Africa. White positions ending in Kenya, Nyasaland, Rhodesias and possibly Angola, but GSA has “appreciation of importance of White bastion.” South Africans cannot go to Europe and so must hold where they now are.

In reply, Secy said US appreciated SA role in three wars and in cold war, and wishes for good relations with GSA in spite of disagreements. But FonMin must realize that if expressions US attitude on race problems not well received in SA, US determination to have good relations with SA complicates our dealings with other African states. He reviewed US commitments to basic democratic principles as defined Preamble of UN Charter.

Secy also made point that although we well aware views of GSA on subject, we feel White peoples handing Black races over to communism unless satisfactory relationships between Whites and Blacks can be established. US working against Afro-Asian demands for sanctions against SA at this GA session.2 We cannot satisfy everyone’s wishes but [Page 622] we can work for moderation. If this US position understood, no reason why US-GSA bilateral relationships cannot improve.

FonMin thanked Secy for his explanation US commitment to principle and said South Africans have commitment to right of survival. Because US has relatively few Blacks, “what is for you a common cold is for us double pneumonia.”

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 65 D 533, CF 2150. Confidential. Drafted by Sanger and cleared by Grant. Repeated to Pretoria and London and by pouch to Tananarive and Salisbury.
  2. The discussion was recorded in three memoranda of conversation. (Ibid., Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 65 D 330) Secretary Rusk was in New York attending the 17th Session of the U.N. General Assembly.
  3. On November 6, the United States voted against U.N. General Assembly Resolution 1761 (XVII), which requested all Member States to dissuade South Africa from pursuing its policies of apartheid; requested the Security Council to take appropriate measures to secure South Africa’s compliance with U.N. resolutions; established a Special Committee to review and report on the racial situation in South Africa; and requested all states to break off diplomatic relations with South Africa, close their ports to South African vessels, boycott South African goods, and prohibit trade with South Africa. The Resolution was adopted by a vote of 67 to 16, with 63 abstentions.