575. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in South Africa1

2. Embtel 765.2 Embassy requested make following points in response SAG note reftel:

US aide-memoire of June 15, 19623 assuring SAG it would “give prompt and sympathetic attention to reasonable requests for purchase of military equipment required for defense against external aggression” was applicable as undertaking to give such attention to SAG requests within framework USG arms policy then in effect. Even under that policy assurance did not require that we respond affirmatively at all times and in all contexts to SAG requests for supply of military equipment of the types referred to in the assurance.
USG does not consider assurance now withdrawn, but still applicable in restricted sense current arms policy toward South Africa announced by Stevenson on December 4 and August 2, 1963.4 We hope SAG will appreciate that this restricted current arms policy constitutes integral part USG effort assist toward peaceful solution southern African problems and is related to other matters where (as in our position at UNSC on economic embargo and UN expulsion) we have tried to be helpful and moderating influence. It remains intention of USG to expedite consideration of any SAG requests relating to supply of military equipment and to supply same if the USG considers such equipment required in sense of Stevenson statement for maintenance of international peace and security and for the common defense effort in the interest of the world community. In this connection Sole’s interpretation reported para 2 Embtel 7335 is correct, if by “now” he meant “at this time” and not “from now on”; this, of course, should be read in connection with two preceding sentences of this paragraph.
Recent SAG military requests were put forward in relation uranium barter negotiations despite earlier notification from USG that it not prepared consider requests for purchase military equipment in connection these discussions. One defense item specifically separated from these discussions is still pending consideration as SAG aware.

FYI. A. Embassy should not encourage separate SAG application for new military shopping list under peace and security exception in view of present world security situation. If SAG should seek invoke exception at this time, result our consideration would probably be negative.

B. We recognize South African willingness proceed with negotiation on tracking station was, in fact, affected by US willingness proceed with separate affirmation described in quoted language para 1 above. This relationship was indicated by SAG aide-memoire, 15 June 1962. However, SAG did accede US insistence Tracking Station Agreement must be separate from affirmation. Moreover, Jooste, with whom negotiation conducted, assured Ambassador latter not precondition of former.

C. In any event, SAG can now at any time and at its option give us six months notice intention terminate tracking station agreement; however we would hope line suggested paras 1–3 above would help discourage possible SAG initiative terminate agreement by giving six months’ notice.

D. We believe comments para 3 above indicate SAG does not have legal basis for claiming US arms policy change as grounds to cancel agreement immediately, without six months’ notice.

E. We would appreciate Embassy views re likelihood SAG employment option terminate agreement on six-month notice as threat against implementation of variety of US foreign policies it may find repugnant.

End FYI.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, DEF 12–5 S AFR. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Deputy Director for Southern African Affairs Peter Hooper on January 8; cleared by Assistant Legal Adviser for African Affairs Charles Runyon, G/PM Director for Operations Howard Meyers, C. Edward Dillery of SCI, Colonel Hatch of Joint Staff, IO/UNP Officer in Charge of Dependent Area Affairs Richard V. Hennes, Sloan in DOD, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Politico-Military Affairs Jeffrey C. Kitchen, Director of the Office of Eastern and Southern African Affairs Jesse M. MacKnight, and Deputy Under Secretary Johnson; and approved by Williams. Sent to Cape Town and repeated to Pretoria.
  2. Not printed. (Ibid.)
  3. See Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, vol. XXI, Document 395, footnote 4.
  4. For excerpts of Ambassador Stevenson’s remarks on December 4, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1963, pp. 694–698. For text of his remarks on August 2, see ibid., pp. 683–689.
  5. Not found.