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Washington, July 14, 1966.
/1/Source: Department of State, S/S-NSC Files: Lot 72 D 318, July 14, 1966. Confidential. Filed with a covering memorandum to the Secretaries of State, Treasury, and Defense, the AID Administrator, USIA Director, and Director of Central Intelligence.
Following the National Security Council meeting today, the President asked the Secretary of State to set up a task force on the South West Africa problem composed of those officers in State, Defense, AID, USIA, CIA, and the NSC Staff, who are primarily responsible for African Affairs.
The task force is to prepare:
(1) a suggested U.S. statement for use immediately following the court decision;
(2) a short term "holding" position to permit us time to assess the decision and reactions to it at home, in Africa and among our allies;
(3) a longer-range plan for dealing with this issue in Africa, in the Western alliance, in the East-West arena and in the UN.
The task force is to work closely with Ambassador Goldberg and his staff.
The task force should establish and maintain close relations with those members of Congress and their staff who are interested in African problems.
Washington, July 23, 1966.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Africa, Union of South, Vol. II, Memos and Miscellaneous, 11/64-9/66. Secret.
You will recall that at the National Security Council meeting on July 14, we had a full discussion regarding the ICJ decision on South West Africa, and based on the assumption that the Court would rule against South Africa, it was agreed that a special Task Force should do a priority study and make recommendations regarding the U.S. position. Circumstances, of course, have changed by the unexpected nature of the Court's judgment./2/ Therefore, the priorities that we had in mind at the July 14 meeting have been somewhat altered.
/2/On July 18, the International Court of Justice rejected the Ethiopian/Liberian complaint against South Africa on the technical ground that Ethiopia and Liberia had not established "any legal right or interest in the subject matter of their claims." On July 27, the Department of State issued a press release stating that the United States considered that the July 18 judgment in no way diminished the legal authority of earlier ICJ advisory opinions on South West Africa. For text, see Department of State Bulletin, August 15, 1966, p. 231.
In the first instance, we will have to develop quickly our overall strategy and tactics for handling this matter either at the annual General Assembly in September, or at a special session of the Assembly or in the Security Council meeting which may be called sometime before then. This we will do through normal channels in concert with Ambassador Goldberg.
The Court's decision, of course, does not alter the need for a fundamental review of our contingency planning since a number of the questions confronting us are much the same regardless of the fact that the Court refused to rule on the merits of the case. Our Interdepartmental Regional Group on Africa offers an appropriate forum and its members have already been asked to undertake such a review.
Assistant Secretaries Palmer and Sisco will concert in the handling of follow-up to the Court's judgment both inside and outside the UN.
George W. Ball
Washington, August 17, 1966, 8:14 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 19 SW AFR. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Buffum, cleared by Palmer and Meeker, and approved by Buffum. Sent to Cape Town, also sent to Pretoria and USUN, and repeated to London and by pouch to Monrovia and Addis Ababa.
30257. Subj: South Africa Aide-Memoire on SWA. FYI: Noforn--Following Based on Uncleared Memcon.
1. SA Ambassador Taswell delivered Aide-Memoire August 17 to Acting Secretary on ICJ judgment re SWA. Text transmitted separately./2/
/2/Telegram 30116 to Cape Town, August 17, transmitted the text of the South African aide-memoire delivered August 17. (Ibid.)
In essence, Aide-Memoire: (a) takes exception to Dept. press release July 27 which indicated we considered earlier ICJ advisory opinions still valid; (b) argues present ICJ decision suggests Court itself regards correctness of 1950 opinion as open question and strongly suggests there is no longer any obligation on part SA to report on SWA to anybody; (c) stresses importance of abandonment by Ethiopia and Liberia of allegations of oppression in SWA which implied basis of repeated UN condemnation of SA administration of SWA was false; (d) expresses hope Western countries will in future adopt more objective attitude on SWA, and those who would have pressed for observance of ICJ judgment adverse to SA will now oppose attempts to persecute SA in or outside UN.
2. Acting Secy made following comments:
a. US considered ICJ judgment purely procedural, and not a decision on substance of SWA case.
b. Legal situation remains same as before ICJ judgment. Dept's July 27 press release reflected this view, including our conclusion that previous ICJ advisory opinions remain applicable, although we recognize they do not have the same force as would a binding decision in a contentious case.
c. As far as policy of apartheid concerned, our attitude well known and not changed by ICJ decision.
d. We had erroneously anticipated ICJ would make substantive judgment against SA, and our Aide-Memoire to SAG/3/ intended merely to express hope SAG would cooperate and minimize problems expected to flow from Court decision.
/3/The text of the U.S. aide-memoire delivered July 15 was transmitted in telegram 7135 to Pretoria, July 13. (Ibid.)
e. While we do not have substantive finding by Court, we expect African UN members to seek political action in UNGA. We must reserve our position until we see what form requests for such action take and how they fit into our general policy.
f. We do believe UNGA succeeded to supervisory responsibilities of League of Nations; we will take note of SA Aide-Memoire but believe SAG is mistaken in concluding any substantive question settled by ICJ decision.
3. Taswell made rather disjointed and mildly impassioned plea in support SAG position that latest ICJ verdict indicated Court threw out case because it was ill-founded. However, he recalled, Courts traditionally rule on minimal number of questions.
4. Acting Secy responded ICJ had indeed acted on minimal number of questions, to wit, merely that Ethiopia and Liberia lacked standing.
5. Legal Advisor Meeker re-enforced these points by stressing Court merely said ICJ found that Article 7 did not permit applicants to obtain a judgment on issue of whether SA properly carrying out its mandate since this kind of issue had been entrusted by mandate to League of Nations; ICJ never got to the merits of the case.
6. Taswell recalled our emphasis on need to support rule of law, said sauce for goose is sauce for gander, and expressed hope we would assure that at GA UN majority will support rule of law.
7. Acting Secy said we fully agree rule of law should be supported but again disagreed with SAG conclusion that any substantive point of law decided by recent ICJ decision.
8. Taswell asked for copies of "notes passed to Liberia and Ethiopia" at time our Aide-Memoire delivered them. Asst Secy Palmer said he thought no useful purpose served thereby and that it unclear as to whether our views this matter delivered in writing at these posts.
Washington, September 6, 1966.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Africa, Union of South, Vol. II, Memos and Miscellaneous, 11/64-9/66. No classification marking. Attached is a note from Rostow to the President that reads: "Mr. President: The attached memorandum is self-explanatory. I believe the risks of our silence are greater than the risks of our candor; but I did not wish to clear this without your guidance." Prime Minister Verwoerd was stabbed to death in the South African Parliament on September 6.
Verwoerd was killed by Demetrios Tsafendakis, a Portuguese national who was deported from the United States to Greece in 1947. We know nothing yet about his time here except that he was a foreign seaman employed by the Merchant Marine in World War II. His whereabouts between 1947 and 1965 are also vague. He appeared at our consulate in Capetown last November to file a claim for $100,000 in damages resulting from his being deported to Greece, rather than to South Africa (which, he maintained, was his home country). He said that he had made earlier attempts to file his claim at American consulates in France, Switzerland, and Portugal.
Our consul in Capetown informed Tsafendakis that such claims could be filed only through his country's embassy in Washington or in U.S. Federal Court. He seemed to accept this quietly. He reappeared at the consulate in May, however, and asked that his affidavit be given to Senator Robert Kennedy when the latter arrived in early June. The consulate immediately returned the affidavit with a letter pointing out that Kennedy's visit was to be very short and busy, and suggesting that Tsafendakis write to him in Washington. (A five-hour search of the Kennedy files this afternoon has yielded no such letter.) This was the last known U.S. contact with the assassin.
We must now decide whether and when to tell the South Africans what little we know about Tsafendakis. Rountree wants to tell them and has asked for instructions. State plans to tell him to go ahead, but will do nothing without White House clearance.
I think we should clear the instruction. In doing so, we run a risk of nasty insinuations by the SAG; but the risks involved in not disclosing information which is certain to be discovered soon seem to me much greater.
/2/This option is checked and a notation in an unknown handwriting reads: "What does Palmer say?"
Washington, September 21, 1966, 8:29 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 19 SW AFR. Confidential. Drafted by Ralph W. Stephan of AF/AFS and Runyon, cleared by Campbell and Popper, and approved by Palmer. Sent to Cape Town, and repeated to Pretoria, London, and USUN.
51780. Ref: a) State 30251;/2/ b) State 45251./3/
/2/Dated August 17. (Ibid.)
/3/Dated September 12. (Ibid., POL 15-1 S AFR)
1. Aide memoire ref a) delivered by Asst. Sec. Palmer to SA Ambassador Taswell Sept 21./4/ Following based on uncleared memcon:
/4/For text of the aide-memoire of September 21, see Department of State Bulletin, October 10, 1966, pp. 567-568.
2. Palmer emphasized a) U.S. view our aide-memoire July 15 did not represent "interference by bringing unwarranted pressure bear" on SA;
b) our view July 18 judgment in no way diminishes authority ICJ advisory opinions; and
c) US will continue be guided by concern for well-being of SWA inhabitants and rule of law.
Taswell persisted that a) US July 15 aide-memoire constituted interference; b) USG clearly had anticipated and made elaborate plans only for judgment adverse to SA as demonstrated inter alia by time taken to give US reaction to judgment and our failure provide SAG copies of parallel US pre-judgment demarches to Liberia and Ethiopia; c) applicants had withdrawn charges of oppression SWA clearly absolving SA of charges; d) USG hopefully equally concerned over welfare inhabitants Ethiopia and Liberia in order that their standards might be brought up to those of inhabitants SWA and e) Gross and Ambassador Goldberg at UN struggling cover up fact Liberia and Ethiopia had withdrawn charges of SA oppression SWA.
4. Palmer a) maintained view USG demarche appropriate and not interference; b) emphasized US demarches to SAG, Ethiopia and Liberia strictly matter US diplomatic relations with individual countries; SAG publicly referred to our approach to it; other two have not done so; US could not have reacted complex judgment on merits any faster than to judgment rendered; c) emphasized narrowness of issue (jurisdiction, not merits) decided by ICJ on July 18 and d) said he could not accept Taswell's inappropriate remark re Ambassador Goldberg suggesting if SAG had any question it would be one to be taken up by SA UN Del with Ambassador Goldberg.
5. Palmer said SAG would do service to all by carrying out continuing obligations regarding SWA and he hoped SAG would take careful account of present UNGA which could prove unusually difficult one for SAG.
6. Interesting Taswell put more emphasis on shift in applicants' contention before ICJ than on any implications from obiter dicta in judgment in seeking paint judgment as vindication of SAG.
CIA/RR ER 66-25
Washington, November 1, 1966.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 24 S AFR. Secret; No Foreign Dissem. Sent under cover of a November l memorandum from the CIA's Director for Research and Reports William N. Morell, Jr. to Assistant Secretary Palmer.
FEASIBILITY OF ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST THE
/2/This report was produced solely by CIA. It was prepared by the Office of Research and Reports and coordinated by the Office of National Estimates and the Office of Current Intelligence; the estimates and conclusions represent the best judgment of the Directorate of Intelligence as of 24 October 1966. [Footnote in the source text.]
Black African countries are now demanding in the General Assembly that the UN act to end the Republic of South Africa's mandate over Southwest Africa, an action which could lead to political and economic sanctions. Enforcement of sanctions would be difficult and costly, particularly for the United States and the United Kingdom, but even with a naval blockade, sanctions would not seriously damage South Africa's economy.
The vulnerability of the South African economy to sanctions is not great. The country has a strong agricultural sector and rich natural resources, and recent South African governments have encouraged the development of an industrial sector that is oriented to the use of domestic raw materials (see Figure 1). Moreover, sanctions aimed at the Republic could have disastrous effects on other southern African nations such as the new countries of Botswana and Lesotho.
The problem of enforcing sanctions would be considerably complicated should the UN confrontation with South Africa involve the Portuguese territories of Mozambique and Angola. In this case, the adverse effects of sanctions could spread to Malawi, Zambia, Rhodesia, and the Province of Katanga in Congo (Kinshasa)--all of which depend in large measure on transport routes through the Portuguese territories.
[Here follows the body of the paper.]
Washington, November 14, 1966.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Africa, Union of South, Vol. III, 10/66-9/68. Confidential.
This is one of a series of soundings which the South Africans are taking around town. Their concern is our position on South West Africa. Their line is that there is no real difference between U.S. and South African interests, values, and aspirations in southern Africa, but that the United States is making a serious error in encouraging black Africans to "disrupt" the "peace and harmony" of the "only stable part" of the continent.
As you know, the General Assembly--with our outspoken support--revoked South Africa's mandate over South West Africa and directed the Secretary General to form a 14-nation commission to develop practical ways to implement the revocation./2/ Negotiations are now underway on the membership of the Commission. There is still some doubt, but it looks as though we will agree to join. The Commission must report in April, probably to a special session of the GA.
/2/For text of Resolution 2145 (XXI), adopted by the U.N. General Assembly on October 27, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1966, pp. 585-586.
Predictably, the South Africans refuse to recognize the U.N. action. (You will recall that their legal position is that the U.N. is not the successor of the League of Nations and has no jurisdiction over the mandate.) They have said that they will continue to administer South West Africa and meet with force any attempt to forcibly divest them of the territory. They have not, however, quite--or even threatened to quit--the U.N., which had been widely predicted. They seem to be making a real effort to play the situation as coolly as their domestic politics will allow.
They will probably say:
--South Africa is also committed to self-determination for African peoples. Apartheid is built on the concept of gradual Bantu independence in their "tribal homelands." (This is a farce--there is no real Bantustan territory left in South Africa, and "gradual" in their lexicon means several decades at least.)
--South Africa has done and is doing a great deal for the black majorities in its own territory and in South West Africa--roads, schools, etc. (There is truth to this, but most of this spending benefits the whites at least as much.)
--The danger is that the northern black Africans will stir up trouble among the docile and contented southern blacks and force South Africa into more restrictive policies, thereby retarding the progress of the blacks.
--Thus, it would be helpful all around if the U.S. were to use its influence in the 14-nation commission to steer it away from economic or other sanctions against South Africa which would require South Africa to respond in kind. (The U.K. has about $3 billion invested in South Africa; we have about $600 million.)
You might say:
--There can be no doubt where we stand on the general question of racial equality. The President made this clear last May before the OAU ambassadors. Goldberg has repeatedly reemphasized it in New York.
--We cannot and will not accept the notion that white subjugation of black majorities in southern Africa must continue into the indefinite future.
--We agree that South Africa has done much for the economic condition of the blacks under her jurisdiction, but we cannot agree that it is an adequate substitute for freedom and equality.
--We do not control the views and actions of the great majority of U.N. nations which supported the SWA resolution, nor will we control the 14-nation commission--if it develops that we are members. We will use whatever influence we have to promote peaceful and reasonable approaches to these problems, but we are as convinced of the necessity to make progress as are the black Africans.
--We strongly believe that the interests of South Africa would be best served by cooperation with the U.N. Commission. There is room in the SWA resolution for reinstatement of South Africa as administrator if she shows signs (which, in the present situation, means any signs) of accepting the thrust of world opinion and reversing the trend toward full apartheid in South West Africa. (Indeed, if the South Africans would take one minor step in this direction, the pressure on the Europeans--particularly the British--to relax would probably be intolerable.)
If Pretoria is--as it appears--testing to see how committed we are, this line should get across to them that we cannot and will not save their bacon in a crunch. Goldberg, the Secretary, and others to whom the South Africans have talked have used the same tack. (As you know, there is a large element of bluff--or, at least, of intangible costs and benefits--involved in this pitch. Our economic leverage on South Africa is very small and very dangerous. If she folds, it will be because of an uncharacteristically clear-eyed view of the quality of life as an international pariah.)
The South Africans may raise the problem of Rhodesia. If so, my suggestions are as follows:
Facts: You will recall that the British committed themselves at the Commonwealth Conference, if a last effort with Smith were unsuccessful, to withdraw all previous offers, adopt a position of no-independence before majority rule, and propose limited mandatory economic sanctions in the Security Council. Wilson then wrote the President asking for support. The President assured him that we would back these moves and agreed--without much hope--to have Rountree approach Vorster to try to convince him that it is in South Africa's interest to cooperate with whatever measures the Security Council imposes. (The President also pointed out that we don't think it will be possible to keep sanctions from being applied to South Africa.) South Africa has not played ball with the voluntary sanction program against Rhodesia now in effect (although the South Africans claim they have gone to some lengths to avoid open violation).
Vorster listened politely to Rountree and seemed rather more receptive to U.S. influence than Rountree expected, but didn't give an inch. Since then Smith has been after him several times to reaffirm South Africa's support. (Smith needs South Africa--particularly for oil--in the event of mandatory sanctions which, if they work, will close off the present oil supply from Mozambique.)
Smith has just delivered to Wilson his "final" answer to the "final" British offer. Both positions are, if anything, less conciliatory than their predecessors. The British have about decided to give it up and go to the U.N; Smith, although hinting that it would be valuable for the Minister of Commonwealth Relations to have another try, seems reconciled to the fact that there will be no settlement.
They will probably say:
--U.S. should refuse to support mandatory sanctions against Rhodesia.
--In any event, the U.S. should firmly oppose extension of these sanctions to South Africa.
--The U.S. should work on the British to have another try with Smith.
You might say:
--We fully support the British commitments. Smith has been given every chance. Goldberg has made it clear that we are against any minority government in Rhodesia.
--We strongly believe that it is in the interests of South Africa to cooperate in any program of sanctions which emerges. We have grave doubts that it will be possible to keep sanction proposals from being extended to South Africa in the first instance. But if that line is held, it will only hold as long as the South Africans cooperate with the program.
Washington, December 1, 1996.
/1/Source: Central Intelligence Agency: Job 79-R01012A, ODDI Registry of NIE and SNIE Files. Secret; Controlled Dissem. According to a note on the cover sheet, the estimate was submitted by Director of Central Intelligence Richard M. Helms, and concurred in by the U.S. Intelligence Board on December 1.
PROBABLE DEVELOPMENTS FOLLOWING THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION TO TERMINATE THE SOUTH-WEST AFRICA MANDATE
To estimate probable developments, particularly reactions of key countries, following the recent UN General Assembly resolution terminating South Africa's mandate in South-West Africa and placing the territory under direct UN responsibility.
Summary and Conclusions
A. The October 1966 UN General Assembly resolution ending South Africa's mandate in South-West Africa and placing the territory under direct UN responsibility has set the stage for a confrontation between the UN and South Africa. Talks through diplomatic channels may produce some new South African proposals, perhaps leading to a plan by which Pretoria would continue to administer the territory under UN supervision. But it is highly unlikely that the South Africans will agree to give up administration of the territory or to accept UN supervision of its administration./2/ We believe the African states will settle for nothing less than the ouster of South Africa from South-West Africa. (Paras 1-2, 9)
/2/Mr. Thomas L. Hughes, the Director of Intelligence and Research, Department of State, believes it is possible that the South Africans might accept some degree of UN supervision over their administration of South-West Africa, although he agrees that the chances are against such an arrangement. [Footnote in the source text.]
B. We believe it unlikely that the Security Council would adopt mandatory economic or military sanctions against South Africa. Even if the Security Council did adopt mandatory economic sanctions, it is unlikely that all important countries would effectively enforce the measure. If all South Africa's major trading partners cooperated in applying economic sanctions over a protracted period, this might bring some modification in South African attitudes. But in this case, we think it more likely that the South Africans would become even more intransigent. (Paras. 11-17, 21-24)
C. We further believe that any attempt forcibly to dislodge South Africa's hold on South-West Africa would require a major military effort, even if backed by a Security Council resolution or by a "Uniting for Peace" resolution of the General Assembly. It is virtually certain that none of the major European powers, including the USSR, would provide sufficient financial or military force to oust South Africa from South-West Africa. (Paras. 25-26)
[Here follows the body of the paper.]
Washington, January 4, 1967, 8:26 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central File, DEF 7 S AFR-US. Confidential; Limdis. Drafted by Donald R. Morris and Frank A. Sieverts of U and approved by Katzenbach. Sent to Pretoria, and repeated to Cape Town.
112608. Ref: Pretoria 1522/2/ and 1574./3/ Subject: F.D. Roosevelt Visit to Capetown.
/2/In telegram 1522 from Pretoria, December 23, Hooper noted that top South African Government officials had repeatedly said during the past few months that they would welcome a U.S. aircraft carrier port visit and had implied that the problems that had interfered with the USS Independence visit need no longer arise. Hooper recommended, however, that the United States request advance flights from the carrier to the shore in order to establish a fully acceptable basis for future port calls. (Ibid.)
/3/Dated January 3. (Ibid.)
1. Department would like use occasion of operationally desirable refueling visit of FDR to Capetown Feb. 1-4 to establish principle that related flights from carrier would be permitted without racial conditions, along lines proposed in Pretoria 1522. Charge therefore requested informally approach Sole or other appropriate DFA official along following lines:
a. FDR will be returning from Viet-Nam towards end of January. As Sole knows, on recent trips such ships have refueled at sea thus obviating visits to Capetown which both US and SAG had in past found advantageous. For operational reasons refueling stop at Capetown would be desirable at this time from USG point of view, and you think such a visit would be in interest both countries
b. In this connection, you would like to inquire informally and on personal basis whether routine flights from this carrier would be permitted in connection with this port call. You do not know whether such flights will in fact be operationally necessary, but if they are you would like to feel confident they would be permitted to land without conditions on racial composition of aircrews.
c. If Sole or other official gives desired assurance you should further note that, in view publicity given to previous carrier incidents, you hope SAG will understand may be necessary for US spokesman to state in reply to questions that no racial conditions had been attached to this visit.
3. FYI. It may be necessary for FDR to refuel in Capetown, so approach should be handled in manner that would permit this even if SAG not willing give advance assurance as requested even on informal basis. We do not in fact know whether flights in connection with this visit will be desired, so your ignorance on this point can be genuine. In view long lead time for scheduling alternative fueling arrangements request you carry out above inquiry ASAP. End FYI./4/
/4/Telegram 621 from Cape Town, January 13, reported that Deputy Foreign Secretary Sole stated that the South African Government would welcome the visit and that detailed arrangements should be worked out at the service level. (Ibid.)
Washington, February 3, 1967, 11:51 a.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, DEF 7 S AFR-US. Confidential; Flash. Drafted by Country Director for South Africa G. Edward Clark; cleared by Deputy Assist-ant Secretary for African Affairs William C. Trimble and Captain Coward of G/PM; and approved by Katzenbach. Sent to Cape Town, and repeated to Pretoria.
130663. Ref: Embtel 708./2/ Subject: FDR Call.
/2/Telegram 708 from Cape Town, January 30, reported that the Embassy and Naval Attache staff, with the cooperation of Cape Town officials and local residents of all races, were establishing a program for the FDR officers and crew designed "to maintain maximum possible multi-racial approach to shore activities within limits of laws and regulations and to be in American terms least offensive in manner of handling activities where segregation unavoidable." (Ibid.)
1. Dept has been informed by DOD that Navy has issued orders to CO FDR that crew may go ashore only in connection with organized integrated activities of any type.
2. Ambassador may wish consider organizing additional affairs, especially for enlisted men, to cover gaps which may result from restrictions individual liberty.
3. Embassy and CO FDR should coordinate in carrying out Navy instructions.
4. SA Embassy Washington being informed; you may also advise SAG./3/
/3/In telegram 736 from Cape Town, February 3, Ambassador Rountree reported the embarrassing and difficult situation caused by the lateness of the Navy orders: over 1,000 citizens from organizations of all races had gone to considerable trouble and expense to arrange activities on a non-segregated basis for the crew, activities which would have to be cancelled. Arguing that a literal interpretation of the orders would result in deep resentment on the part of South Africans of all races, he asked for urgent reconsideration. (Ibid.) Telegram 131502, February 3, informed Rountree that the Navy's orders could not be modified further. (Ibid.)