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Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in
Washington, August 1, 1969, 2246Z.
129016. Subj: SWA, BOSS, TA Trial II.
1. Acting Secretary Richardson yesterday called in Ambassador Taswell and delivered strong protest application BOSS, TA, SWA Affairs Act, etc. to SWA. At same time protested treatment Codel's visa applications. Report conversation both matters by separate cable.? Following text aide-mémoire handed Ambassador on SWA:
Qte: The Government of the United States has noted the passage by the South African Parliament of the General Law Amendment Act of 1969 and, in particular, notes that clauses 10 and 29 of this Act apply to the international territory of SWA. Such application lacks proper legal basis, since SA has forfeited its right to administer the territory, for which direct responsibility rests in the United Nations.
It is a matter of additional concern to the Government of the United States that the clauses in question are of such nature as to contravene important rights of the inhabitants. Such rights continue to demand respect and could not have been divested or diminished by reason of South Africa's forfeiture of its own rights in the territory. The Government of the United States is particularly concerned that clause 10, which amends the Official Secrets Act and is applicable to South West Africa, makes unlawful the communication or publication “in any manner or for any purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the Republic" of any information relating to any “security matter.” Security matter is very broadly defined as "any matter relating to the security of the Republic.” It specifically includes “any matter dealt with by or relating to the relationship subsisting between any person and the said Bureau." By its very generality clause 10 is suppressive of freedom of information in and concerning South West Africa, which is essential to the development of free institutions and to the well-being and self-government of the inhabitants.
Clause 29 prevents the introduction before any court or “any body or institution established by or under any law" of any evidence or information in matters where the Prime Minister, any functionary authorized by him, or any other Minister, certifies a claim of executive privilege on the basis of state or public security. It necessarily follows that any person involved in an administrative, or possibly even a legislative proceeding, or litigating a civil matter in court, as well as any accused in a criminal proceeding, will be barred, upon the requisite unreviewable certification, from presenting information which could be essential to a fair outcome or adjudication. Clause 29 is thus in derogation of the rule of law and injurious to the well-being of the inhabitants.
1 Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–5 S AFR. Confidential. Drafted by Runyon, cleared in AF/S in draft, and approved by Runyon. Repeated to Helsinki, London, Lusaka, Ottawa, Rome, Stockholm, Geneva, USUN, Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg.
2 Telegram 130093 to Pretoria, August 5, transmitted the substance of Document 13. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–5 S AFR)
3 See footnote 3, Document 13.
Without addressing itself to the question of the implications of clauses 10 and 29 for South Africa's obligations in respect to matters other than South West Africa, the Government of the United States wishes to make clear that it considers their enactment contrary to South Africa's international obligations with regard to South West Africa and in contravention of the rights vested in the inhabitants by the Covenant of the League of Nations, the Mandate Agreement and the Charter of the United Nations. Moreover, extension to South West Africa of South African legislation so arbitrary and restrictive in nature cannot fail further to arouse international tensions to the prejudice of friendly and cooperative relationships.
The Government of the United States therefore urges the South African Government to take account of the implications of this legislation and reconsider and withdraw its application to the international territory of South West Africa.
Certain earlier communications from the Government of the United States to the Government of South Africa concerning legislation made applicable to the international territory of South West Africa conveyed views and put questions in the hope that they might be productive both of dialogue and developments consistent with the interests of the inhabitants of that territory. A list of such communications is attached.
On the present occasion the Government of the United States wishes to reiterate the concerns expressed in these communications and in its recent oral representations concerning the South West Africa Affairs Act of 1969, as well as concerning the continuing application to South West Africa of the Terrorism Act of 1967, as evidenced by the current trial at Windhoek and detentions of South West Africans under that Act.
The Government of the United States hopes that an early response by the Government of South Africa to its past and present observations, inquiries and requests may help to advance a constructive exchange of views on the international territory of South West Africa.
Attachment: List of certain representations made by the Government of the United States to the Government of the Republic of South
Africa concerning the international territory of South West Africa (1967-1969).
1. Aide-mémoire. Delivered at Pretoria, December 16, 1967
* The text of the February 10, 1968, aide-mémoire is in telegram 113548 to Cape Town, February 10. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 29 SW AFR) The text of the May 3, 1968, aide-mémoire is in telegram 158297 to Athens, May 3. (Ibid., POL 19 SW AFR) The others were not found.
Intelligence Note From the Director of the Bureau of
Washington, August 18, 1969.
South-West Africa: The Issue That Won't Go Away
The Issue Remains. The UN Security Council's resolution of August 12, calling for South Africa's withdrawal from South-West Africa (Namibia) by October 4, 1969,2 further narrows the maneuverability of the US and the UK on the South-West Africa issue. South Africa has no intention of giving up South-West Africa, and the Afro-Asian countries can therefore be expected to begin pressing again for UN enforcement measures sometime after the October deadline has passed. The UK will
Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 19 SW AFR. Confidential; No Foreign Dissem; Controlled Dissem.
2 Resolution 269 declared South Africa's continued occupation of Namibia a violation of territorial integrity and an encroachment on the authority of the United Nations. It also requested all states to increase their assistance to the people of Namibia. (Yearbook of the United Nations, 1969, p. 697)
probably use its veto, if necessary, to defeat mandatory sanctions, but this will not dispose of the issue or ease Afro-Asian pressures on the US.
Afro-Asian Tenacity. In their long-fought battle in the UN against the white minority regimes of southern Africa, the Afro-Asians have had mandatory sanctions against South Africa as their long-term goal. They failed, most recently in June, to get a Rhodesian resolution (that would have extended Rhodesian sanctions to South Africa and Mozambique) through the Security Council. They succeeded the next month in having the SC condemn Portugal over frontier incidents with Zambia. The resolution on South-West Africa of August 12 illustrates how Afro-Asian support in the Security Council on this issue has now broadened to the point where there were no negative votes and the only abstentions were the US, UK, France, and Finland.
What Type of Sanctions? The resolution provides that if Pretoria does not comply with the demand for withdrawal, the “Security Council will meet immediately to determine upon effective measures. For the Afro-Asians, “effective measures" mean Chapter VII actions, although it is not clear yet whether the Afro-Asians are prepared to scale or slow down their demands in order to obtain US support. But whatever the tactics, the August 12 resolution has brought the Security Council measurably closer to the point where it will have to decide one way or the other on mandatory sanctions.
South Africa Adamant. Entrenched in South-West Africa since World War I, South Africa has hardened its position since the World Court decision of 1966. It has virtually annexed the territory and has, contrary to the original mandate, some military units there. Only concerted measures by the major world powers might shake South Africa's hold over the area, but prospects for such international action seem dimmer than ever.
UK Problems. Among the permanent Security Council members, the UK in particular is strongly opposed to measures against South Africa. The UK and South Africa are important trading partners and, more significantly, British investment (currently exceeding $3 billion) constitutes 60 percent of all foreign investment in South Africa. The UK, therefore, would probably try to dilute any future Security Council resolution on mandatory sanctions and, if it did not succeed, would probably be prepared to use the veto.
Not the End. A British veto might get other members of the Security Council off the hook, but probably only temporarily. The South-West
3 See Intelligence Note 81, “South-West Africa: Shrunken Autonomy,” February 11, 1969. (Footnote is in the original. Printed as Document 1.]
Africa issue will continue to be a source of recurring frictions between African states and the West, and the Afro-Asians are likely to bring new pressures on the US to "do something" about South Africa's continued presence in the territory.
Memorandum of Conversation?
New York, September 23, 1969, 11:30 a.m.
The Secretary's Bilateral Talk with Foreign Secretary Stewart-Rhodesia
When the Secretary complimented Stewart on his excellent speech before the General Assembly on September 22, the British Foreign Secretary noted that the section of the speech dealing with Rhodesia had attracted the most attention in the British press. Stewart said that while he was grateful for past American support of the British position on Rhodesia, he hoped we would not continue to maintain our "diplomatic mission" at Salisbury. Our having official representation there only gave impetus to Rhodesian hopes for “creeping recognition” from the Western countries which kept representatives stationed in Rhodesia. The UK had withdrawn its diplomatic representatives and the Foreign Secretary hoped that we would now do likewise. The Secretary said that the U.S. was aware both of the British viewpoint on this matter and of the drawbacks involved in our maintaining a Consulate
1 Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL UK-US. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Thompson on September 24 and approved by Brown on September 27. The meeting was held at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. The memorandum is part 3 of 7.