ACTION IMPERATIVE - - REPEAL THE BYRD AMENDMENT

by Charles C. Diggs Jr.
Washington, DC, United States
June 1, 1973
2 pages
Type: Policy Document
Coverage in Africa: Zimbabwe
Coverage outside Africa: United States, United Nations
Language: English
Document, most likely send as a mailing, asking people to cable and write your Representatives and Senators to join the movement to negate the Byrd Amendment, contact the swing voters listed on the enclosed materials, urge all groups with whom you are affiliated to join this national effort to stop the U.S. from violating its international legal obligations, visit your Congressmen in Washington and at their district offices to explain your concern about illegal Rhodesian imports, and write letters to the editor of your local newspaper explaining the urgency of this issue. The document says bills to stop importation of Rhodesian chrome and other "strategic" materials were introduced by Senator Humphrey (S. 1868) and Congressmen Don Fraser and Charles C. Diggs, Jr. (H.R. 8005) on May 22. The document says in the mounting effort to reverse U.S. support for the racist and illegal regimes of Southern Africa, priority must be given to the bipartisan campaign to repeal the Byrd Amendment; under this infamous amendment, the United States imports goods from Rhodesia in blatant violation of its treaty obligations as a member of the United Nations. The document says sanctions against the white minority regime in Southern Rhodesia which represents less than 5% of the population are beginning to have an impact. The document says there is an acute shortage of foreign exchange; the transportation system is winding down and tourism and emigration to Rhodesia have fallen off, largely as a result of the heroic actions of the liberation movements. The document says even neighboring Zambia, vulnerable though it is, has made a courageous decision to keep closed its border with Southern Rhodesia at considerable economic cost; the Nixon Administration has made no contribution to the international effort to assist Zambia through this economic crisis; most recently, the U.S. vetoed a Security Council resolution aimed at countering the impact of flagrant violations of the Rhodesian sanctions by asking states to repeal laws allowing imports from Southern Rhodesia and plugging up South African and Portuguese loopholes in the embargo. The document says the passage of the Byrd Amendment in the fall of 1971 was a significant psychological and economic boost to the regime; if we can repeal it this year, this action coupled with the African resistance inside Rhodesia, could be an even greater blow. The document says sponsored by 24 Senators and 78 Congressmen, the bills would negate the statutory language authorizing the United States to break mandatory sanctions and thus help restore the U.S. to its position as a law-abiding member of the international community. The document says for more information contact the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, U.S. House of Representatives or the Office of Congressman Charles C. Diggs, Jr. The document discusses the United Nations Participation Act of 1945, the Strategic and Critical Materials Stock Piling Act, national security, stockpiled chrome, U.S. imports of Rhodesian good, Smith's illegal regime, foreign exchange, the Senate, Rhodesian ferrochrome, the Soviet Union, Turkey, and NATO.
Collection: Brenda Randolph Africa archive, Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections