593. Paper Prepared in the Department of State1

STATUS REPORT ON NSAM NO. 295 OF
APRIL 24, 1964—SOUTH AFRICA

Following numbered paragraphs correspond to the seven numbered paragraphs of NSAM 295:2

1. Defer Implementation of Odendaal Report in South West Africa

a.

Action taken:

After negative South African Government responses to US and UK representations to Foreign Minister Muller on this subject in February, we convinced the British after some discussion that a second effort should be made with Prime Minister Verwoerd directly. Our approaches to the Prime Minister on March 19th brought a much more conciliatory, but not entirely clear South African response on March 27. Meanwhile Mr. Clarence Randall, whom we had briefed and enlisted before his private trip to South Africa, made strong personal representations to both Muller and Verwoerd in mid-March. Applicants in the International Court cases, Ethiopia and Liberia, were kept generally informed of progress and their Counsel was encouraged to refrain from seeking interim ICJ action.

b.

Results:

In a Government White Paper and statement to Parliament on April 29, Prime Minister Verwoerd came round to full acceptance of our representations with regard to postponement. Citing South African technical reasons for delay, as we had suggested, he said inter alia and included in the White Paper the statement that the South African Government would “refrain from action which may be regarded—even theoretically—as detrimental or prejudicial to the alleged rights of the applicant states, or which may unnecessarily aggravate or extend the dispute before the Court”. In effect, all controversial aspects of the Odendaal Report were postponed pending Court judgment and certain economic and social development projects not involving shifts of population or changes in administration were approved for action.

Ethiopian and Liberian Ambassadors expressed satisfaction with this achievement and indicated that interim Court action which might have precipitated a Security Council crisis this year would not be sought.

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The larger problem of South African intentions after Court judgment is still very much with us. While agreeing to postponement of implementation of the Odendaal Report, Dr. Verwoerd nonetheless accepted it “in broad principle” and said “it will be implemented when the time is ripe.” Thus, twelve to fourteen months’ time was gained, but the issue will become even more critical by mid-summer 1965 when final Court decision on the merits is expected.

2. Policy Regarding Military Sales

Thus far during 1964 the South African Government has not initiated any official requests for arms or military equipment. Existing policy has been adhered to save for two technical exceptions under which it was decided to approve the sale of 100 helicopter firing heads (a safety device, not a weapon) and 12 sets of MK 32–5 torpedo tubes and 6 control panels as accessory equipment for torpedoes purchased by South Africa prior to inauguration of our arms embargo policy last August.

3. Suspension of Action on Applications for US Government Loans and Investment Guarantees

Implementation of this policy has involved refusal of only one application thus far and no others are presently pending. The application which was not approved was in the form of a request for a special political risk guarantee covering a proposed loan of approximately $7 million by Chase Manhattan Bank to the Palabora Mining Company of South Africa. The loan was to have been for purchase of mining machinery and equipment. The Palabora Company, an international consortium including Newmont and American Metals Climax of the United States, has since obtained alternate capital. The venture involves development of an extensive copper mine complex in the Republic of South Africa to begin production in 1966. There has been no repercussion from the South African Government as the result of the Ex-Im Bank action. A high functionary of the South African Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) did complain irately to one of our Embassy officers and vowed that in retribution the mining equipment would not be purchased in the United States. Ultimately about 95 percent is to be purchased in the United States, however, because letters of intent had already been signed for much of it and Palabora technicians insisted for the rest only US-manufactured machinery would be satisfactory.

Knowledge of the Palabora refusal has spread to some extent among American firms under contract for equipment as well as other US firms, some involved in the venture and some not. However, the general policy has been kept secret and no action beyond that indicated in the NSAM has been taken.

US private investment is contributing at a high rate in South Africa because of unusually favorable returns. Depending on future developments [Page 997]it may become necessary to review the policy of no warnings late this year or early in 1965.

4. Alternative Space Tracking Facilities

NASA and DOD are proceeding actively with plans and preparations for alternate space tracking facilities. NASA will locate various alternative facilities in Malagasy, Spain and Ascension Island. Separate equipment will be installed and used in supplementary fashion pending any possible requirement to substitute entirely for present South African stations. NASA expects to complete its alternate sites by late 1965. Consent of the Spanish and Malagasy Governments has been obtained. The Ascension site is still subject to final negotiation with the British. DOD requires only stand-by land for a transfer of equipment which can be accomplished within six months. Malagasy is the prospective site for this. At some point later this year South African technicians will be able to deduce the purpose of alternate NASA facilities despite plausible and to some extent real additional reasons for their existence which NASA is fully prepared to make known. It is anticipated that the South African Government will not be likely to raise the issue with us in present circumstances so long as NASA and DOD continue normal operations in South Africa as planned. The questions of whether and when we should inform the South African Government about our alternate sites are still under consideration.

5. Program to Persuade South Africa to Comply with ICJ Decision and to Encourage Moderate Whites in South Africa

The State Department has discussed this problem in preliminary fashion with Mr. Millard of the British Foreign Office. The British had been thinking of taking a renewed diplomatic initiative re South West Africa after the Court decision next year. Mr. Millard conceded during discussions in Washington in June that there might be some risk in waiting until that stage to take diplomatic action. We told him that we were developing a plan for approaching the South African Government later this year to allow time for repeated discussion and for the South African Government to develop an alternative to the Odendaal Report (which took two years), before the Court decision and resultant heightening of international pressures make South African adjustment much more difficult, if not impossible. The British will be prepared to explore with us in late summer or early fall the possibility of cooperating in such an earlier approach.

The substance and strategy of new diplomatic approaches to the South African Government concerning the future of South West Africa are currently in the process of inter-agency review as part of the final draft National Policy Paper on South Africa. This is scheduled for final inter-agency clearance by mid-August.

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During the past few months discreet liaison with and encouragement of the major opposition party, United Party, in its active campaign against the Odendaal Report has been successfully carried out by AmEmbassy Pretoria. More effective liaison between interested private American groups and similar groups in South Africa has been assisted in response to inquiries to the Department of State from American groups in the fields of business, labor, religion, youth and science.

6. Program to Explain US Objectives to Interested African Countries

Background and instructions have been provided USUN and all US diplomatic missions in Africa on our objectives concerning South West Africa and the Odendaal Report. These have been used as the basis for private conversations to bring about greater African understanding of the US position. To some extent this effort may have contributed to African willingness to go along with our current position on thorough and time-consuming study of sanctions in the UN Security Council.

7. Analysis of Sanctions

A comprehensive series of studies of sanctions and other possible enforcement measures, including estimates of their effectiveness, costs and prospects for compliance, has been launched in the State Department. First drafts on all topics are scheduled for completion between July 31 and August 15. These will be timely and useful both for the purposes envisaged in the NSAM and as supporting information for USUN participation in the Security Council Study Committee on enforcement measures. The British are doing a similar series of studies and have indicated willingness to exchange views and information with us as they proceed.

  1. Source: Department of State, S/S-NSAM Files: Lot 72 D 316, NSAM 295. Secret. Drafted by Hooper; cleared by Fredericks, Dillery, P. Wesley Kriebel of IO/UNP, Officer in Charge of U.K. Affairs Thomas M. Judd, George L. Warren of G/PM, and William R. Duggan of the Policy Planning Council.
  2. Document 586.