216. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission in Geneva 1

264172. For Wisner only. Subject: Smith’s Comments about Annex C.

You should request an urgent appointment with Smith and hand him the following memo.
Quote: There have been a number of comments from Rhodesian authorities about American commitments. We want to give you our recollection of events which is what our policy is based on. On September 19 in Pretoria after the original five points had been presented to you2 but before you accepted them and after you were informed that the U.S. would use Annex C as a basis of its policy. We provided Annex C to your representative the same night.
Neither Annex C nor the five points, as of September 19, included the provision for a white chairman and two white security ministers. When you raised these points you were informed that they had not been discussed either with the UK or the African presidents. Subsequently, after consultations with the UK and the African presidents, you were informed that these two issues would be difficult but perhaps manageable and could be included as modifications of the original five points.
This sequence of events clearly demonstrates that these two points, which have become indeed difficult, were added later and were not included in the original five points as they were presented to you in Pretoria. Unquote.
Orally you should make the following points to Smith: [Page 608]
  • —It seems to us that he should not be exposing himself to the press or allow himself to be led into discussion of details.
  • —The U.S. is appalled that he has made public reference to Annex C (which has not been given to the Africans) despite requests from us directly and through South Africa and Great Britain that he not do so.
  • —The end result can only make it more difficult for his own position in the conference.
  • —The U.S. cannot be put under pressure by public statements.
  • —If it continues we will have to wash our hands of our efforts and Smith will have to do what he can on his own.
  • —However, you may tell him that we continue to stand behind Annex C and will not push him beyond it as stated in your original instructions.
  • —You may also inform him of the Secretary’s high personal regard for Smith, his desire to work with him, and the great sympathy he has for him and his population in these circumstances.
  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Europe and Canada, Box 13, Switzerland—State Department Telegrams, From SecState—Nodis (3). Secret; Niact Immediate;Nodis. Drafted by Schaufele and approved by Kissinger. Preliminary talks on Rhodesia began in Geneva on October 24. The conference formally convened on October 28.
  2. See Document 206.