325. Telegram From the Embassy in Ethiopia to the Department of State 1

1394. Communist Activities re ICAO.Deptel 1050.2

Local soundings have turned up no information concerning alleged Communist plan to expel South Africa and Portugal from ICAO and to take over that organization.3

We understand that, as usual, resolution was passed at Nairobi ministerial4 condemning apartheid and Portuguese Colonialism. However, current indications are that it did not include concerted plan for ousting SA and Portugal from ICAO.

At same time, according to our sources, there is considerable sentiment among African policy makers to continue policy of isolating SA [Page 572] and Portugal in international bodies, as sanctioned by heads of state at Cairo, July, 1964 in AHG/res. (I) conveyed our A–70.5 Therefore “spontaneous” African participation in moves to expel SA and Portugal from the ICAO should be anticipated, and support from whatever quarter presumably will be welcome.6

Air Transport advisor to ECA (protect source), addressing himself to African, not African cum Communist, role, has heard of no such takeover plans. Feels however that Africans, who have five of 27 seats on ICAO governing council would be ill-advised to stage walkout on SA/Portugal issue. Added he has confidence in Council Chairman Benagi of Argentina whom he believes could avoid an African takeover.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1964–66, AV 3 ICAO. Confidential. Repeated to London, Beirut, Paris, Asmara, and USUN.
  2. Dated March 25. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 1050 to Addis Ababa reported that the Department had learned from foreign sources of a “well-organized plan underway by Communist countries, working with Arab League and sympathetic African countries, to gain control ICAO at Assembly in Montreal next June. Action would include move at beginning first plenary session oust South Africa and Portugal with walkout planned.” It was also rumored that “Communist, Arab, or partisan African” candidates would be nominated for each post. (Ibid.)
  4. Reference is to a meeting in February–March of the Foreign Ministers of members of the Organization of African Unity.
  5. For extracts of the resolution pertaining to South Africa adopted by the OAU in Cairo on July 21, 1964, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1964, pp. 807–808.
  6. Telegram 4800 from London, April 2, reported that the British confirmed that they had received a report from Walter Binaghi that mentioned only South Africa. The British had calculated that the “Communist-Arab-African bloc” could command close to 50 percent of the vote. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1964–66, AV 3 ICAO)