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

41. Political. SWA. Deptel 32.1 Reference telegram was received yesterday p.m. and I made requested representation to Foreign Minister Louw at 3 p.m. today. Foreign Secretary Jooste was with Louw and Clark accompanied me. I read following statement but did not leave text; Jooste however took careful notes:

“Minister will recall that US voted in favor UNGA Resolution 1805 of December 14, 1962.2 Paragraphs five and six of that resolution request Secretary General:

  • “5… . to appoint a United Nations Technical Assistance Resident representative for Southwest Africa …
  • “6… . to take all necessary steps to establish an effective United Nations presence in Southwest Africa.

“I recall that Prime Minister last year indicated that SAG would be prepared to explore possibilities of inviting one or two experts working [Page 626] in particular fields with WHO and/or FAO who could be consulted on matters in regard to which they were particularly qualified. We are also aware that Prime Minister has constituted special commission of outstanding men charged with responsibility for advising him on plans for development of territory.

“In light of evident desire of SAG on one hand to work for development of territory and on other in recognizing earnest desire of UN, as expressed in Resolution 1805, to ensure same objective, terms of resolution appear reasonable in eyes of my government.

“My government hopes, therefore, that SA Government will take positive attitude toward Secretary General’s requests, especially in regard to acceptance of a UN Technical Assistance Resident representative but also of course in regard to establishment of a UN presence in territory.

“Minister will recall that US representative, Mr. Bingham, explaining our vote in Committee IV, stated:

“We would be profoundly gratified if SAG were to comply with this resolution and earnestly urge it to do so, so as to open way at long last to a bright future for all peoples of Southwest Africa. We are particularly hopeful that the government will seize the opportunities for constructive cooperation which the UN has offered in operative paragraphs six and five.”

“It is our firm belief that positive and early action in response to SYG’s request for compliance with these operative paragraphs will enable US delegates in corridors and in committee to urge moderation when Committee of 24 takes up issue of SWA.3 Above all we hope that SAG will not respond to SYG’s request in manner which will freeze into an irrevocably negative position.

“My government at the moment is giving careful study to SWA question and its long-range implications for the United States. Department will shortly be forwarding to me instructions to lay before you outlining our views on this crucial subject. Should there be any inclination to reject out of hand SYG’s requests, and we assume that such is not intent of SAG, we earnestly hope that no final response will be rendered until our views have been fully set forth.”

Following my representation Louw spoke for about half an hour large part of which was past history well known to Department and [Page 627] USUN. We will report this conversation in detail in a following telegram. Following are however essential points:

SAG will not make definite decision re UNTA representative for SWA until its own commission has made its report. While Louw’s position was not clear-cut it does appear that possibility exists of reaching agreement with UN on this point.
If paragraph six means opening of a permanent political UN office in Windhoek this can be definitely ruled out.
Louw does not consider that SYG has yet made formal request of SAG re paragraphs five and six of Resolution 1805. He said only that Protitch had made informal low-level approach but he still expected Secretary General to take matter up formally. (I did not tell Louw that I knew of Protitch’s conversation. He confirmed that Botha is in SA. Fourie is now Under Secretary for African Affairs and resides in Pretoria.)
Minister’s reaction to our representation was reasonable and conversation throughout was friendly in tone.

We have sent British copy of notes from which I read. Clark is seeing Gordon at dinner tonight and will fill him in re SAG reaction.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 19 SW AFR/UN. Confidential; Priority. Also sent to USUN and repeated to Pretoria and London.
  2. Telegram 32, February 27, instructed Ambassador Satterthwaite to obtain a high-level appointment, preferably with Foreign Minister Louw, to urge South Africa to adopt a positive attitude toward the U.N. Secretary-General’s request to establish a U.N. presence and a U.N. Technical Assistance Representative in the Territory of South West Africa. Satterthwaite was to explain that such action would enable the United States to urge moderation when the Committee of 24 took up the question of South West Africa. (Ibid.)
  3. See footnote 2, Document 398.
  4. On April 16, the South African Representative to the United Nations refused the invitation of the Committee of 24 (formerly the Committee of 17) to attend its meetings on South West Africa. On May 10, the Committee adopted a resolution that essentially reaffirmed the provisions of Resolution 1805 (XVII), but added a provision recommending that the General Assembly consider any attempt to annex the Territory of South West Africa as an act of aggression. Twenty-three members of the Committee of 24 (including the United States) voted for the resolution as a whole; the United Kingdom abstained.