58. Airgram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State 1



  • Committee of 24 Ad Hoc Group Africa Trip

At its 741st meeting on May 4, the Committee of 24 approved recommendations of its working group that an ad hoc group of representatives of the Committee make a trip to Africa. The trip will be undertaken in connection with preparations for the Tenth Anniversary of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. The purpose of the trip is to establish contact with leaders of national liberation movements in Africa.

The ad hoc group will consist of the following: Chairman: Ambassador Nicol of Sierra Leone, Chairman of the Committee of 24; Rapporteur: Mr. S.M.S. Chadha of India, Rapporteur of the Committee of 24; and representatives of the following six delegations: Ecuador, Ethiopia, Iraq, Italy, Poland and Tunisia. The ad hoc group will be accompanied by a small number of Secretariat personnel. It is tentatively scheduled to depart from New York on May 24 with the following itinerary: Lusaka, two to three working days; Dar es Salaam, two to three working days; Addis Ababa, two working days; Algiers, two working days.

The Committee further approved a recommendation that in the interval before its departure, the ad hoc group contact the leaders of the national liberation movements involved and make appropriate arrangements with the governments concerned and with the Organization of African Unity. The addressees of this airgram will be informed by telegram of the exact composition of the ad hoc group and its final itinerary.

Comment: The U.S. Representative to the Special Committee of 24 concurred in the plans for this trip to Africa with some misgiving. However, the decision to limit the trip to eight members of the Committee and its duration to approximately two weeks was, in our view, the lesser of possible evils. There was sentiment among members of the Committee for a full fledged trip by the whole Committee to include [Page 94]commemorative sessions at the seat of the OAU in this Tenth Anniversary year. Such a junket would have entailed the same kind of extensive staff support as previous African trips of the Committee at five or six times the cost of the proposed trip by the ad hoc group. The Mission will be interested to receive such reports on this trip and on the activities of its members as the addressees may be in a position to furnish.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 19 UN. Limited Official Use. Repeated to Algiers, Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, and Lusaka. Drafted by Sacksteder, cleared by Finger and E. C. Grigg, and approved by Newlin.