4. Telegram From the Embassy in South Africa to the Department of State 1

242. Subj: Protest on South West Africa Bill. Ref: State 025151.2

Pursuant reftel, I called on FonSec Fourie today and informed him SWA Affairs bill to implement decisions of White Paper issued June 19683 has given rise serious concern by USG which believes legislation poses challenge to international status of SWA, to UN responsibility for territory, and to rights of inhabitants for international safeguards on self-determination. I said enactment and implementation of bill would heighten international tensions, the more so at time when Afro-Asians have decided call SC meeting to consider SWA. USG considers bill to be retrogressive step which bound to harm instead of further SA’s own interests and particularly its efforts to improve relations with other African states and nations throughout world. We believe bill will repel not only potential friends but also nations with which SAG already has good and constructive relations.
I urged that SAG weigh these considerations in light its own best interests and overwhelming world opposition to direction of movement concerning SWA. I expressed earnest hope that SAG will reconsider and take action to ensure bill is not adopted.
Fourie listened attentively to my presentation and made notes of all points. He inquired whether reference to challenge to international status of SWA suggested that bill would be in violation SAG responsibilities under old Mandate or would be challenged on basis UN resolutions which SAG had made clear it did not accept. I replied that while, as SAG knew, US fully supported legality UNGA Resolution 21454 we feel that SWA Affairs bill would not only violate that, but also SAG responsibility under the original Mandate. Fourie said discussion latter aspect more appropriate for SAG, which would “in due course” give reasons to me why it considers bill necessary and within its responsibilities and in interests SWA inhabitants. He said he would convey my message to govt, but at this stage could comment only that, apart from merits of case, bill had gone through two readings and was now virtu[Page 7]ally through Parliament. I said our interest of course was first to persuade SAG not to enact legislation, and I hoped it not too late to prevent this, but if it enacted to urge non-implementation.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 19 SW AFR. Confidential. Repeated to Pretoria, London, Paris, USUN, Maseru, Gaborone, Mbabane, Stockholm, Bonn, Helsinki, Madrid, Lusaka, Taipei, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Tokyo, Durban, and Johannesburg.
  2. Document 2.
  3. For the proposed administrative and financial changes presented June 3, 1968, see Keesing’s Contemporary Archives, 1967–1968, p. 22907.
  4. See footnote 2, Document 1.