408. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Ball) to President Kennedy0


  • Next Steps with South Africa re Security Council Meeting

Following is a suggested list of next steps to be taken to carry out the policy recommendations concerning South Africa contained in my July 13 memorandum.1 Those recommendations envisage frank discussions with South Africa, with the African leaders and with the United Kingdom and France, looking toward U.S. support for and including, if necessary, co-sponsorship of a Security Council resolution critical of South Africa’s racial policies.

The Secretary would call in the South African Ambassador this week and outline our position along the following lines (our Embassy in Pretoria and USUN could make similar demarches to South African officials shortly thereafter):
Reiteration of our basic opposition to apartheid.
Difficulties we foresee in the Security Council (Addis Ababa resolution calling for sanctions and expulsion).
Statement of our intention to oppose expulsion and mandatory sanctions under Chapter VII.
Description of the resolution we intend to initiate or support in the Security Council: (1) a reaffirmation of our strong opposition to apartheid; (2) a recommendation that the Secretary-General appoint a high-level special representative (a former Prime Minister, a past President of the General Assembly, or someone of like stature) [to] discuss with the South Africans how their racial policies could be brought into conformity with the U.N. Charter; and (3) a call on member states to refrain from supplying arms which could be used to facilitate the enforcement of apartheid.
Indication that the resolution we have in mind would do no more than have the Security Council “codify” in a recommendatory (Chapter VI) resolution our present arms policy vis-à-vis South Africa.

A statement that we intend unilaterally to stop further arms supplies to South Africa from the United States, but we are not yet saying so publicly.

(In connection with a possible unilateral declaration by the United States adopting a total arms embargo, we should keep open the timing of any announcement, subject to Ambassador Stevenson’s recommendations in light of the tactical negotiating situation in New York.)

Urge South Africa, in order to help us moderate the actions of the Security Council, to indicate publicly its intention to cooperate with any Secretary-General’s representative.
The United Kingdom and France. We would inform the United Kingdom and France in New York as soon as possible of the President’s decision along the lines of (1.) above. The United Kingdom would also be informed in Washington. This would be a sequel to the preliminary discussions in Europe completed recently by Ambassador Stevenson and Assistant Secretary Cleveland.
Norway. Special early consultations along the lines of (1.) above are necessary with the Norwegians who are anxious to avoid political and economic sanctions but are ready to support a total arms embargo provision in a Security Council resolution.
The Africans. On Wednesday, July 17, after Foreign Minister Slim has briefed the representatives of the other African countries designated to present Africa’s case to the Security Council (Liberia, Madagascar, Sierra Leone) we should pursue our discussions with him in New York along the following lines:
We, too, would like to avoid a clash between ourselves and the Africans in the Security Council and we are prepared (as the Secretary and Assistant Secretary Cleveland indicated to Mongi Slim in Washington) to work with him in an effort to develop a resolution that will command general support in the Council.
We are opposed to apartheid but at the same time we cannot support expulsion or mandatory sanctions.
We will be in a better position to take effective measures provided they are non-mandatory and avoid being put into the Chapter VII category. If the Africans agree that the arms embargo paragraph in the Security Council resolution is not total but partial and within Chapter VI of the Charter, we would be willing to announce at an appropriate time a halt in all arms shipments to South Africa.

Depending on the circumstances, USUN might indicate to Foreign Minister Slim the kind of resolution we could support (1(d).

It would also be advisable to have USUN make the above points to the other three African special representatives and the African members of the Security Council (Ghana, Morocco).

Ambassador Stevenson and other Members of the Council. As soon as Ambassador Stevenson returns (July 18), we will brief him on the status of the above consultations. At a later stage, he would broaden our consultations to include other members of the Security Council (except the USSR).
George W. Ball
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, South Africa. Confidential.
  2. Not printed.