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that cannot be met and will stimulate pressures for sanctions; they see a firm stand as the best hope of dampening pressures. OEP and Treasury prefer present policy but do not object strongly to Option 2, provided it is made clear that the US opposes mandatory sanctions. Commerce believes that any restrictions we impose will simply allow other nations' investors to step in, and it fears setting a precedent which could lead to new restrictions against South Africa.

State recommends Option 2. It sees the economic sacrifice involved as slight, but believes these measures will demonstrate more clearly that US policy is not prejudiced by economic interests and will establish a more easily defensible posture from which to oppose extreme demands.

My own view is that we should have no illusions that limited measures will stop African pressures. Nevertheless, the steps in Option 2 involve only modest sacrifice but will strengthen our position in the (probable) event that we are forced to veto proposals for stronger measures. They would be tokens of our good faith. In the heated UN debate, remaining rigid would not successfully “downplay" the issue.

I suggest that you focus on the proposed new operational steps individually, rather than on the options. My specific recommendation accompanies each operational step. Specific Operational Steps

Option 2 includes the first five steps:
1. Discourage US investment in South West Africa.
2. Deny EXIM credit guarantees for trade with South West Africa.

3. Deny diplomatic protection against claims of a future lawful government of South West Africa to US nationals who invest there on the basis of rights acquired since the 1966 General Assembly resolution.

The argument for these steps is that most agencies believe they will have only slight economic impact, since US investment is high-return and low-risk anyway, and EXIM facilities are hardly used. Any economic effect these steps did have would give substance to our moral and legal position. By limiting our stake there, they would keep us from becoming more “locked in" and would thus preserve our freedom of action in the future. The argument against them is that we could be accused of hypocrisy for taking ineffectual steps. (Commerce, on the other hand, sees significant new export possibilities emerging and urges that EXIM facilities not be foreclosed.) Any economic impact they did have would be a sacrifice for which we will not necessarily receive any political benefit. They might be taken as a precedent and stimulate pressures to do the same or more against South Africa and the Portuguese Territories (though the legal issues in South West Africa are unique).


I recommend that you approve these steps. The economic sacrifice will not be great, and these will strengthen our position in the event we have to veto. Approve 1-3


Approve only

4. Encourage (but do not pressure) other countries to take actions similar to the above.

The argument for this is that if it succeeds, others will not capitalize on our self-denial; if it fails, it might deflect African pressures on to others. The argument against it is that others will probably not emulate us, and, even so, African pressures on us will probably not subside. This measure might antagonize our allies.

I recommend that you approve this step. Pressure on our allies is ruled out. There is no assurance that it will have any effect, but we are entitled to hope that others will not take advantage of our self-denial. Approve 4 .4 Disapprove

5. Support (but do not propose) referral to ICJ for advisory opinion on legality of certain aspects of South Africa's administration of South West Africa.

The argument for this is that if others propose referral to the ICJ, the US has no basis for opposing it; the ICJ would probably only confirm the legal position the US has already taken. The argument against it is that an ICJ ruling condemning South Africa could not be given practical effect, but would accelerate pressures for sanctions.

I recommend that you approve this step. An ICJ ruling might well stimulate African pressures, but US opposition or abstention on the question of referral would raise doubts about our legal position. Approve 5

Disapprove 5
Option 3 includes the above five steps plus the five following:

6. Seek recommendation to General Assembly of revision of terms of reference of Council on Namibia or creation of new continuing body. Be willing to join if terms of reference are practical.

Some argue that this would allow us to take a constructive initiative. If successful, it might channel off African pressures and might improve our chances of guiding UN discussion and action. Others point out, however, that there is no guarantee of US influence over the new bargaining on the terms of reference, and there is no veto in the Assembly.

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I recommend that you disapprove this measure. There is too much risk of an undesirable result. Approve Disapprove

7. Contribute to a UN training fund for South West African refugees.

The argument for this is that it would cost little and would give substance to UN responsibility for the Territory. It would consist mainly of scholarship aid. (We used to contribute.) The argument against it is that Congress has specifically disapproved of funds for this in recent years. It could conceivably put the UN and USG in the position of educating the leaders of a liberation movement.

I recommend that you disapprove this measure. Even if Congress is amenable to persuasion, we could not revive this in time for it to be useful in the upcoming UN debates. Approve - Disapprove

I recommend also that we continue present forms of US support for refugee assistance (private US, and other UN programs). Continue present aid Disapprove

8. Support (but do not propose) a Security Council resolution calling on states and the Secretary General to report periodically on their application of the arms embargo against South Africa.

Some argue that this would dramatize the fact that we interpret the embargo strictly. It might deflect African pressures on to others (e.g., UK, France, Italy) who are less strict. On the other hand, this step would probably antagonize these allies on an occasion when cooperation among the Western powers is desirable. In any case, it would not significantly reduce African pressure on the US.

I recommend that you approve this measure with the following qualifications: The US need not oppose such a resolution if others propose it. We should vote for it only if our allies do not object; otherwise, we should abstain. In no case should we actively support such a resolution, or introduce it ourselves. Approve 8 as is

Approve 8 with qualification Disapprove 8

9. Support UN action by which members would end avoidance-ofdouble-taxation privilege for investors in South West Africa.


6 Nixon initialed his approval, crossed it out, and initialed his disapproval.
? Nixon initialed his approval, crossed it out, and initialed his disapproval.

Nixon initialed this option.

Nixon initialed "Approve 8 as is." Kissinger initialed “Approve 8 with qualification" for Nixon. According to an April 16 covering memorandum from Lord to Kissinger, Nixon mistakenly initialed “Approve 8 as is." Lord asked Kissinger to initial “Approve 8 with qualification."

10. Support measures to divert corporate tax revenues generated in South West Africa to the UN.

Measures 9–10 are noted here for your information. These would have a significant economic "bite". No agency favors them at this time; all agree that these require further study because of legal complexities. No Presidential decision is being asked for.

11. Review applicability to the Territory of Us treaties with South Africa. 12. Consider suspension of South Africa's sugar quota.

Measures 11-12 were suggested by State in its written submission of its views (at Tab B). They were not raised in the paper or considered by the Review Group. They, too, would require further study. You do not need to take a position on them now, and I recommend you not do

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At Tab C is a draft NSDM embodying my own recommendations. Approve as is Modify according to above decisions


10 Nixon initialed “Approve as is” but crossed it out. He circled “At Tab C is a draft NSDM embodying my own recommendations" and wrote “OK." A stamped notation indicates that he did so on April 16.

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The President has reviewed the response to NSSM 892 (South West Africa) and has decided that:

1. Present restrictions on official visits to, military contacts with, and overflights of South West Africa shall remain in effect.

2. The United States will officially discourage investment by U.S. nationals in South West Africa.

3. Export-Import Bank credit guarantees and other facilities shall not be made available for trade with South West Africa.

4. U.S. nationals who invest in South West Africa on the basis of rights acquired through the South African Government since adoption of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 2145 (1966) shall not receive U.S. Government assistance in protection of such investments against claims of a future lawful government of South West Africa.

a 5. The United States will encourage other nations to take actions similar to the above, but will not exert pressure on them to this end, either in the United Nations or in our bilateral relations.

6. The United States will support, but will not propose, United Nations action to request an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legality of aspects of South Africa's administration of South West Africa.


Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 19 SW AFR. Secret. Copies were sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Director of Central Intelligence, and Director of the U.S. Information Agency. The NSDM was originally issued on April 17.

2 Document 29.

3 When page 1 was revised on May 22, “and other facilities” was added to the sentence.

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