596. Memorandum From William H. Brubeck of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1

Further to the Lockheed-South Africa problem—

I should, and did not, make clear that the problem of avoiding trouble through November involves the UN General Assembly session as well as the US election. If there is public disclosure of a Lockheed sale to South Africa before or during the General Assembly the reactions there will be pretty messy, both rhetorically and in possible practical consequences—i.e. US ability to marshal votes on issues of interest to it, such as the Article 19 case. I doubt that a decision now to approve the sale could really be held from disclosure till after the UNGA.
You should realize that in the eyes of almost all the world this sale associates us with the British, French and Portuguese as helping the South Africans—and the rest of the world includes, with varying degrees of intensity, everyone from NATO partners like Norway, through Latin America to the Afro-Asians. I don’t want to overstate the practical significance of this, but its symbolic and emotional impact does count for something—the racism issue is, in the long run, a real one in coping with the Chicoms.
If we are going to spend a policy counter like this (and I am quite willing to consider it) let’s wait and do so in a context that serves some policy purpose, not just balance of payments.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Africa, Union of South, Vol. I, Memos and Miscellaneous, 11/63–10/64. Secret.