REPORT ON MEETING WITH STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIALS REGARDING SOUTH WEST AFRICA
by George M. Houser, American Committee on Africa
New York, New York, United States
Undated, April 1958
American Committee on Africa
The document reports on a meeting on April 9 at the State Department by Zelma C. Brandt, International League for the Rights of Man; Anne Buffinton, Episcopal Churchmen for South Africa; George M. Houser, American Committee on Africa; Lynn Kirk, American Association for the United Nations; Bertha McNeill, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom; Victor G. Reuther, United Auto Workers, AFL-CIO; Rosina Tucker, Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; Mr. and Mrs. Peter Weiss, American Committee on Africa; David C. Williams, Americans for Democratic Action; and E. Raymond Wilson, Friends Committee on National Legislation. They met with Walter N. Walmsley, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of International Organization Affairs; Benjamin Gerig, Director of the Office of Dependent Area Affairs; and George D. LaMont, Deputy Director of the Office of Central and Southern Africa Affairs. The group’s aim was to ascertain the State Department’s approach to the Good Offices Committee established by the U.N. General Assembly, on which Walmsley is the U.S. representative. The Committee, consisting of representatives of the U.S., United Kingdom, and Brazil, has invited a representative of the government of the Union of South Africa to meet with them. The Committee will report to the next session of the General Assembly. Walmsley does not conceive the task of the Committee as discussing substantive problems on South West Africa; rather, he sees it as that of keeping the status of South West Africa internationalized. Walmsley gave the impression that the Committee would not negotiate on behalf of the U.N. to put pressure on South Africa to place South West Africa under the Trusteeship system, but rather that the Committee must mediate between the position of the U.N. and that of South Africa. The delegation tried to impress on Walmsley the need to for the Committee take a bold position and at least present the case for placing South West Africa under trusteeship. It can also urge South Africa to permit the U.N. specialized agencies to make their services available to the people of South West Africa.
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor to the American Committee on Africa).
Collection: Winifred Courtney Collection, National Archives of Namibia