- Beaver Shaw
- Nairobi, Kenya
- I an ex member of both 7 and 8 Squadron's of the Rhodesian war spending most of my operational time on Seven Squadron as a K Car gunner. I was credited for shooting down a fixed wing aircraft from a K Car on the 9 August 1979. This blog is from articles for research on a book which I HAVE HANDED THIS MANUSCRIPT OVER TO MIMI CAWOOD WHO WILL BE HANDLING THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK OF WHICH THERE WILL BE VERY LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE Contact her on email@example.com The latest news is that the Editing is now done and we can expect to start sales and deliveries by the end of April 2011
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07/27 - 08/03
- THE WAR MUST END
- A MUZZLE FOR MOTORMOUTH
- THE MAN WHO CRIED UNCLE
- LM RADIO
- THE PORTUGESE LEAVE-NEW BORDER TO CONTEND WITH
- RHODESIAN CONVOYS
- HMS TIGER AND RHODESIA
- NICKY PRICE
- NIGEL LAMB -clandestine helicopter pilot
- The only luxury us Bluejobs missed in the Bush
- UDI A POSER FOR USA Released State Department file...
- Squadron First Aid Training
- THE RPG 7 ROCKET LAUNCHER
- HERE TO STAY
- U N RESOLUTION 590 -1977
- TSANGA LODGE
- THE ADELPHI PAPERS
- DEATH OF RHODESIA LANCASTER HOUSE
- CHEETAH RLI MAGAZINE
- Bertram Owen Smith Obituray
- FIELD MAINTENANCE
- Dominique Houyet
- ▼ 07/27 - 08/03 (24)
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
UDI A POSER FOR USA Released State Department files
511. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense McNamara/1/
Washington, December 16, 1965.
/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 70 A 4662, Rhodesia 091. Top Secret. A stamped notation on the source reads: "Sec Def has seen."
Measures Against Rhodesia (C)
1. (S) Reference is made to a memorandum by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (ISA), I-27, 885/65, dated 6 December 1965,/2/ which requested that the Joint Chiefs of Staff analyze Rhodesian defense capabilities, estimate the nature and size of military force required to accomplish specified objectives, and point up any particular military problems in mounting the operation.
/2/Not printed. A copy is ibid., OASD/ISA Files: FRC 70 A 3717, 092 Rhodesia.
2. (S) From the standpoint of plausible national involvements in Rhodesia, including a United Nations force, there are almost unlimited combinations of military force that could be examined. Since Rhodesia is an area of recognized UK primacy, it appears that military intervention in Rhodesia, if any, will most likely be accomplished primarily by UK forces.
3. (S) The detailed views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the information requested are contained in the Appendix./3/ A summary of these views is set forth below:
a. The small Rhodesian active Army (3,000), Air Force (69 assorted aircraft), and Police Force (5,100) are well led and in a high state of readiness. The Rhodesian Government can mobilize an additional 6,000 reservists on extremely short notice. This force is capable of successfully meeting any likely threat posed by African states, but it could not repulse a major UK military effort. The major Rhodesian strength is her ability to make deliberate preparations for defense behind the formidable Zambezi River obstacles and the ability to destroy the critical Kariba Dam power facilities and the Wankie coal mines. The major military weaknesses of the Rhodesians are the limited size of their forces and difficulty in replenishing ammunition, spare parts, and POL supplies if confronted by a major UK military force.
b. The estimated nature and size of the UK force required to take and hold the Kariba Dam area and the Wankie coal field are: one airborne/infantry division force, three tactical fighter squadrons, combat and logistic support forces, and necessary airlift. Two brigades would be employed to secure the Wankie coal mines and maintain a rail line of communications to the Zambian border, and one brigade would be employed on the south bank of the Zambezi River to seize and hold the Kariba Dam.
c. An estimate of the UK military force required to overcome Rhodesian resistance and restore lawful government is: two airborne/infantry division forces, five tactical fighter squadrons, combat and logistic support forces, and necessary airlift. One airborne division would be employed to seize and hold the Kariba Dam and the Wankie coal mining areas; and, subsequently, one reinforced infantry division would be used to seize and hold the capital city of Salisbury.
d. Major problems which bear on a UK military operation in Rhodesia are as follows:
(1) The loyalties of the 225,000 white Rhodesians are difficult to determine; but, initially, the majority would probably be loyal to the Smith government. Over an extended period, the white urban population would be inclined to accept the authority of Her Majesty's Government. The rural white Rhodesians, however, would probably resist and harass a UK force.
(2) South Africa and Portugal would probably furnish major economic support to Rhodesia. South Africa might furnish some military supplies and volunteers to Rhodesia, but it is doubtful that either South Africa or Portugal would overtly deploy forces to Rhodesia to fight against the United Kingdom.
(3) There is a shortage of UK troop transport to meet this and other commitments.
(4) The United Kingdom would have difficulty in mustering adequate combat forces, both ground and air, because of current commitments.
(5) It is probable that military action in Rhodesia would result in destruction of the Kariba Dam facilities and certain Wankie coal fields.
4. (S) If the United Kingdom should request US military assistance, it would most likely be for military airlift for deployment of UK forces to the area and their continued logistical support. There are three AFSTRIKE troop carrier squadrons which could be committed if implementation were directed. Their employment would, however, result in the cancellation of other commitments such as deployment of one troop carrier squadron to Southeast Asia, support for GEMINI recovery, programmed USAFSTRIKE support of MATS, and airlift support for deployment of one tactical fighter squadron to Southeast Asia.
5. (S) The Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that any US military commitment in Rhodesia is militarily unsound because of the resultant degradation of the US strategic military posture. Present major military commitments in NATO, Korea, Southeast Asia, and the Dominican Republic do not permit an additional significant military commitment wherein the depth of involvement is impossible to predict with any degree of accuracy. Accordingly, the Joint Chiefs of Staff strongly recommend that no US military forces be committed to operations in the Rhodesian crisis.
6. (U) Without attachment, this memorandum is downgraded to Secret.
For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
David L. McDonald
Joint Chiefs of Staff
512. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy) to President Johnson/1/
Washington, December 16, 1965, 9:30 a.m.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, United Kingdom, PM Wilson Visit, 2/17/65. Secret.
The Wilson Visit
You currently have three meetings with Wilson: 5:15 today (1-1/2 hours), lunch at 1:00 tomorrow with a small working group, and a third meeting, with a communique, at 4 p.m. tomorrow.
There are six main subjects which I list in the order of their importance to the British:
2. The British defense review
3. Vietnam and Malaysia
5. Non-proliferation and East/West relations
6. Nuclear arrangements with the Germans
Dean Rusk will be here tomorrow morning but not before, and for this reason I think you might wish to save Vietnam, Soviet relations, and nuclear arrangements with the Germans until tomorrow. That would leave Rhodesia, British defense, and India/Pakistan for this afternoon.
This is Wilson's make-or-break issue. He must go the limit to break Smith without shooting, and we are not at all sure he can do it. So far we have given full support on economic measures, including airlift support for oil to Zambia. But Wilson may use this meeting to lay the basis for more: in particular, he may feel us out on help to keep Zambian copper moving or even for access to U.S. stockpile copper. We have resisted any such feelers, and you may want to hear George Ball on this subject.
[Here follows discussion of unrelated topics.]
513. Memorandum of Conversations/1/
Washington, December 16-17, 1965.
/1/Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 66 D 347, CF 2567, Visit of Prime Minister Wilson, December 15-19, 1965, Vol. II. Secret; Nodis. Prepared in the Department of State.
VISIT TO WASHINGTON OF PRIME MINISTER WILSON
December 16-18, 1965
[Here follows a record of a private meeting between the President and Prime Minister Wilson, December 16, 5:15-6:10 p.m.]
Cabinet Room Meeting, December 16, 1965, 6:10-7:20 p.m.
(From notes dated December 17 prepared by Francis Bator)
Acting Secretary George Ball
Ambassador Hand (Part of time)
Jack Valenti (Part of time)
Prime Minister Wilson
Sir Burke Trend, Secretary to the Cabinet
Derek Mitchell, Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister
[Here follows discussion of unrelated topics.]
President: Asked Mr. Ball to summarize our position on providing support for the oil embargo of Rhodesia.
Mr. Ball: Very tough problem. We can manage to help you in ameliorating a crisis--but if copper supply dries up completely and serious sterling troubles, there will be real difficulty.
We can help you with an oil embargo if you will go ahead with an Order in Council, thereby providing protection for our oil companies against any damage claims.
We can supplement your airlift to supply oil to Zambia in case Smith retaliates by cutting off the flow of oil to Zambia. It is our judgment that such an oil embargo would put real pressure on Rhodesia even if it is not airtight.
We would have to get the Germans, Italians, and French to go along. We think they would probably cooperate.
There might be problems with the South Africans.
Prime Minister: We must expect Smith to retaliate by cutting off oil to Zambia--we could manage to offset this.
More serious, they could cut the electricity. We have warned Smith that we would retaliate by cutting off his electric supply.
If they take the third step and cut off coal, this would pose "a phenomenal problem". The best we could probably do would be to provide Zambia enough oil to keep the mines pumping. But there would be no output of copper.
There are three questions:
(i) Will the large oil companies cooperate--what if they do not play? What about a free booter? Any such leakage would lead to very great pressure for a blockage in the UN.
(ii) Angola--two frigates could probably stop that.
(iii) South Africa--we are not overly pessimistic about this; though they do some very evil things, they are very law-abiding; it's possible that they would not, in fact, try to break down an embargo.
We will go forward with an Order in Council--a bit worried about it with our thin parliamentary situation, and will qualify it ("as long as Smith's government lasts"); but we will do it.
Zambia is the key to the entire situation; hope they remain reasonable. It is important to keep things in the UN as quiet as possible, and to have the right answers for the Zambian missions to Moscow, Washington and London.
We are quite clear about what to do if and when Smith does fall; UK will have to resume effective government of Rhodesia; UK will have to take parliamentary control on all matters of human and civil rights; troops will have to go back under British control. It will put us back 40 years, but it can't be helped.
Hope President will agree to George Ball's proposals, and that Arthur Goldberg will help in the UN to keep things quiet.
Mr. Ball: I have talked to Arthur and he is fairly optimistic. UK must keep the initiative and responsibility on this; the principle we must follow is that these are UK measures, which the U.S. is reinforcing--not joint measures.
President: We will reinforce and supplement what you do.
Prime Minister: Should like to work out the language on the airlift as soon as possible so as to indicate that we are "not alone." We have a specific question that I will have to decide this evening. Do we divert a ship on its way to Rhodesia? It carries a two-week supply of oil. A tough problem; it is probably safer to let it go through despite the two-week supply.
Mr. Ball: We do not want to inhibit your decision either way. The President has approved the program we outlined to you so that our position is clear.
Prime Minister: "Quite right. We have got your mind on the general situation and will make our own decision on the immediate problem."
Meeting at British Embassy, Morning of December 17
Prime Minister Wilson
Sir Burke Trend, Secretary to Cabinet
Derek Mitchell, Principal Private Secretary to Prime Minister
Under Secretary Ball
Mr. McGeorge Bundy
Rhodesia was the principal subject of discussion and agreement was reached on the announcements to be made of an oil embargo and U.S. participation in an airlift for Zambia. No detailed record of the discussion is available.
White House Lunch for Prime Minister and Subsequent Conversation
December 17, 1-3 p.m.
(Based on Comments of Assistant Secretary Leddy and Ambassador Bruce)
Under Secretary Ball
Assistant Secretary John Leddy
Prime Minister Wilson
Sir Burke Trend, Secretary to the Cabinet
Michael Stewart, Minister
Derek Mitchell, Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister
Oliver Wright, Assistant Private Secretary to the Prime Minister
Lloyd Hughes, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister
John Killick, Counselor
The Prime Minister concentrated during lunch on the subject of Rhodesia. He expressed appreciation for United States backing, particularly on the oil sanctions and the airlift for Zambia. The Prime Minister took an optimistic view of the prospects of bringing down the Smith regime in a short time through economic action. While the Prime Minister did not give a specific time estimate, Oliver Wright, Assistant Private Secretary to the Prime Minister, subsequently told Ambassador Bruce that it was hoped to achieve this result in a matter of weeks.
[Here follows discussion of unrelated topics.]
514. Memorandum From the President's Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Komer) to President Johnson/1/
Washington, December 20, 1965, 4:30 p.m.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Name File, Komer Memos, Vol. II. Secret. McGeorge Bundy initialed below Komer's signature.
Rhodesia becoming a US problem. The Africans in their frustration are turning increasingly to the US in their disillusionment with the UK. This will put us more and more under the gun./2/
/2/A December 20 note from Komer to Bundy reads as follows: "Attached is another try on Rhodesia. I realize the problem, but to my knowledge LBJ simply hasn't been told the likely dimensions of this mess. Rick and I feel that all the evidence shows that it is getting steadily worse, not better, and will continue to do so. HMG is in a spot, caught between the Tories at home and Africans abroad, but the point is that we're going to become the African target too shortly. So the harder we push the Brits, the better off we'll be. Attached is best device I can think of for smoking out State." (Ibid.)
Nyerere of Tanzania has written you (Tab A)/3/ asking US support for (1) mandatory UN sanctions under Chapter VII of the Charter; and (2) a UN peace keeping force to take over the Kariba dam. He told us he wanted to fly here and discuss this at the UN and with you; now he's dropped the idea for the moment.
Zambia's Kaunda has also written (Tab B)/4/ asking for some C-130s for the emergency airlift he needs because the US/UK oil embargo led Rhodesia to cut off Zambia's oil. We're allotting 3 civilian DC-7s to the airlift, but reports suggest that present US/UK plans will fall far short of the demand. Pressures on us for more help will mount steadily.
/4/Telegram 993 from Lusaka, December 16, transmitted the text of Kaunda's letter; not printed.
There are new African calls for OAU meetings, Security Council Sessions, and Commonwealth meetings. Out of these will come further pressure on the UK, and new appeals to us. Also, if Zambia cuts itself off from Rhodesia, or if Ian Smith clamps down on Zambia, we'll have a real mess. Airlift demands will skyrocket if we're to get coal in and copper out. The simple fact of the matter is that Ian Smith can strangle Zambia a lot faster than Britain can strangle Smith.
My own sense is that this Rhodesia crisis is likely to get a lot worse rather than better, unless the UK can come up with something more than economic strangulation. The longer the crisis lasts, the greater the chance the UK will lose control, and the more painful the choices which will be put to us. So you might want to ask State for a full dress analysis of this gloomy prospect, and whether there isn't some other way out which we ought to be pushing on the UK.
/5/This option is checked. A handwritten note in the margin reads: "RWK: Your hunting license. MGB."
515. Special Memorandum No. 30-65 Prepared in the Office of National Estimates, Central Intelligence Agency
Washington, December 21, 1965.
[Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 70 A 4662, Rhodesia 091. Secret. 2 pages of source text not declassified.]
516. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Mann) to President Johnson/1/
Washington, December 22, 1965.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Rhodesia, Vol. I. Secret.
MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT ON THERHODESIAN CRISIS/2/
/2/A December 28 covering memorandum from Komer to the President states that attached was Mann's "excellent analysis of the Rhodesian crisis." Komer notes that the gist of Mann's "gloomy report" was that the British program of economic sanctions, while it would probably work in time, would not have time to run its course.
The African states do not believe that the present U.K. program of economic sanctions will be adequate to bring down the Smith regime. They doubt Wilson's sincerity. They favor the use of military force and have, so far, looked to the U.K. to supply that force.
Wilson has, on the other hand, publicly stated that the U.K. will not use military force against the Smith regime. U.K. officials claim that British public opinion would not support military action. The British have hinted that many of their officers, particularly those in the air force, might resign their commissions if ordered to attack the Smith regime. On the other hand, an unknown percentage of officers in the Rhodesian armed forces are, according to some estimates, loyal to the Queen and might not wish to fire on British forces.
Fast-moving political developments in Africa and elsewhere, British preoccupations that failure to deal quickly and effectively with the 200-odd thousand whites in Southern Rhodesia may cause a large part of the Commonwealth to break away, and the risk that communist countries may be able to use the crisis to extend their influence or power in Africa, may cause the British to reconsider. Ambassador Bruce believes that the British consider this their most serious crisis since Suez. It is an Africa-wide crisis with impact on the U.S. as well as the U.K.
Today the British Ambassador informed us that Wilson had sent a message, through Governor Gibbs in Rhodesia, for Smith. The letter stated that it was unlikely the U.K. could delay more drastic action for more than a short period of time. This tends to confirm the intelligence report which is at Tab A./3/ The Ambassador stated that Smith subsequently indicated that he is willing to negotiate for the establishment of a constitutional government in Rhodesia. The Ambassador asks that this information be treated as top secret.
/3/The tabs are not attached to the source text. A handwritten notation on Komer's memorandum reads: "Tabs did not go forward with memo." Tab A is presumably Document 515.
The British have also considered a possible naval blockade in order to make the oil embargo and other economic sanctions more effective. They have told us, however, that this is not in the cards because, among other problems, it would mean a confrontation with South Africa (where Britain has important investment and trade interests) and possibly Portugal as well.
If the British ultimately decide to use force, they could (and hopefully would) decide, instead of attempting to occupy Southern Rhodesia, to take over the Wankie coal fields some 38 miles from the Zambian border and the Kariba Dam, which is on the border and jointly owned but controlled from the Southern Rhodesian side. Southern Rhodesian machine-gun emplacements are believed to be at the Kariba Dam; Smith may have taken similar precautions at the coal fields. If the U.K. should attempt to secure these two facilities, there is a risk that the Smith forces would sabotage generators and other electrical facilities at the dam site, blow up a high bridge at the frontier over which the coal moves to Zambia, and perhaps sabotage the coal mines themselves. We cannot predict the extent to which the Smith forces would offer resistance otherwise to a limited operation of this kind.
The Africans are probably right in their estimate that economic sanctions alone will not quickly bring down the Smith regime. There is, however, a good chance that they would work in the long run. But for several reasons the British probably do not have the time they need to give the sanctions program a fair chance to work:
First, all of the Zambian copper, more than half of the Katangan copper, and a large part of Zambian imports move over a railroad which runs through Southern Rhodesia. As is pointed out later, adequate alternate overland facilities are not immediately available.
Second, Zambia also depends on the Smith regime for coal needed to run its copper industry (one ton of coal is needed for every ton of copper) and other facilities. Work has already started on developing a low-grade deposit of coal in Zambia, but it will take some time to get production going, when it is going it will be inadequate for Zambia's total needs, and it cannot be used to smelt copper without costly and time-consuming changes in smelting machinery.
Smith has already raised export duties on coal to Zambia from 14 cents to 14 dollars a ton. This poses for Zambia a difficult political problem. If they pay the export tax they will appear to be subsidizing the Southern Rhodesian economy. If they refuse to pay the tax, it will cost even more to import coal from other sources even if adequate alternate overland transportation facilities were available, which they are not at this time.
Smith also has the power to cut off electricity generated at Kariba. While thermoelectric facilities are available in Zambia to meet essential requirements for electricity, they require coal which may not be available. The World Bank has not been successful thus far in persuading Smith to allow it to maintain an effective presence on the Rhodesian side of the dam. And even if the Bank were to win Smith's consent, the few security guards it would use to protect the property against sabotage could not resist the armed forces of the Smith regime if he decided to use them.
In short, given the kind of economic blow and counter blow which is in prospect, Zambia will, in the short run, be hurt far more than Southern Rhodesia.
Third, Kaunda is under great pressure from extremists within his own country to retaliate against Smith. It is not clear he can resist these pressures even if he wanted to. If, as seems likely, there is an escalation of sanctions, pressures on the U.K. (and the U.S.) to supply Zambia's economy with its essential needs will be very great. The British are planning on keeping the Zambian economy going on a "care and maintenance basis", i.e., tight rationing and austerity. We doubt, however, that the fragile Zambian government can hold together for an extended period of time under severe pressures of this kind.
Fourth, if, as seems probable, a substantial part of Zambian (and perhaps Katangan) copper--which together constitute 24% of the world supply--is cut off for a period of months, the U.K. will lose substantial amounts of foreign exchange. If the crisis continued for a long period, confidence in the pound could be impaired, thereby generating pressures on us for large-scale assistance. And there would immediately be demands on us for some scheme to share our copper with the U.K. and our other allies. (We are asking Joe Califano to call a meeting to discuss this facet of the question; we have suggestions to offer.)
Against this background, we have agreed to support the U.K. airlift of POL products for Zambia. The Canadians have offered four C-130s. We have asked for bids and are requesting today the President's authorization to spend two million dollars of AID funds to defray the cost of three or four chartered airplanes for a two months period. This amount will be inadequate even for the U.S. part of the POL airlift if the airlift continues for longer than two months or if it is expanded in size. We are making every effort to get our planes on the ground as soon as possible.
But the POL airlift is addressed only to a fraction of the total problem. On the assumption that Smith denies to Zambia electricity and coal and use of the railway through Southern Rhodesia, our estimates are that it would require a capital expenditure of between 125 and 150 million dollars, plus an additional amount in ordinary expenses to improve alternate overland transportation routes on a crash basis. If this amount of money were spent, it might be possible to supply the minimum requirements of the Zambian economy under a very austere standard and permit the export of some 400,000 tons of Zambian copper (present exports are 700,000 tons a year). Even this level could not be achieved except gradually over a period of one year on the most optimistic assumptions. A map indicating the alternate overland transportation routes and a memorandum giving details on the costs and timing estimates are attached at Tab B.
We cannot be sure, even if we or the British spent this amount of funds, that the Africans would have the patience or the Zambians the discipline to wait out this period. And, if, in the fast moving political scene, there should be an early political or military solution of the overall problem, these funds would be to a large extent wasted. The Africans would gain somewhat through the improved overland facilities but the alternate routes of communication are not efficient as compared with the railroad through Southern Rhodesia.
Another facet of the problem is the possibility of additional action by the UN Security Council. The Zambian Foreign Minister is reported by the press to have announced Zambia's intention to ask the Security Council for mandatory sanctions and "the use of United Nations Forces."
This would involve a determination that a threat to the peace exists; thus it would bring into play Chapter VII of the UN Charter under which Council action can legally bind all UN members to take certain steps. At an early stage the British were tentatively prepared to accept a Chapter VII determination by the Council but backed off at the last minute. We believe that, whenever the next Council meeting is held, mandatory, economic sanctions are very likely to be imposed unless the British or we veto. Unless South Africa and Portugal complied, the next succeeding measure in the Council might well be to call for a naval blockade against them. Moreover, if economic sanctions did not bring down the Smith regime, the Council would thereafter be likely to call for the use of force against Southern Rhodesia, which again would face the British with the dilemma of casting a veto or permitting the Council to force a decision upon them. This might in fact be easier for Wilson than taking such a decision on his own volition.
In sum, we believe that under great pressure the U.K. has been forced to announce an economic sanctions program which will probably not achieve its objectives either in terms of maintaining the U.K.'s relationships with the African Commonwealth states or of bringing down quickly the Smith regime. We should bear in mind that African resentment against the U.K. will inevitably rub off on the U.S.
1. The hard decisions have yet to be taken by the British. The U.K. must, and presumably will, make the necessary decisions as soon as they estimate their situation permits.
2. We have thus far refrained from recommending any particular action to the British on the ground that this is an internal Commonwealth affair. This should continue to be our attitude for the foreseeable future.
3. We should continue to express to the U.K. our doubts that the sanctions thus far proposed will achieve U.K. objectives or indeed even enable the U.K. to maintain control of the situation for a long period of time. And we should continue to make clear to the British that they should not count on us for large-scale financial aid which we think is likely to be wasted.
4. We are consulting with the Department of Defense on the military aspects of this question. Our tentative thinking from a political point of view is as follows: If the British raise with us the question of military force, we should make clear this is a decision for the U.K. to make. If they ask for U.S. troops we should decline. If the U.K. decides to use force and we have a chance to express an opinion between a limited action to secure Wankie and Kariba and a larger type of action, we should express an opinion in favor of the former. If they ask for an airlift to move and support a British force we should probably react sympathetically.
Thomas C. Mann
517. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Zambia/1/
Washington, December 22, 1965, 11:02 a.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, FT 11-2 RHOD. Secret; Flash. Drafted by Mann and Mulcahy; cleared by Williams, Solomon, and McElhiney; and approved by Mann. Repeated to Dar-es-Salaam, Leopoldville, London, and Salisbury.
1032. Ref: Embtel 1045./2/ Please point out again to Kaunda that action proposed by him would be far more harmful to Zambia than to Smith regime. It is obvious that alternate overland transportation routes are inadequate meet Zambia's needs. US is not rpt not in position extend assistance on scale GRZ would require if Kaunda stops copper shipments through Rhodesia. Present US commitment is assist British in meeting emergency POL shortage. No existing combination current outward transportation capacities and limited port facilities is currently adequate to ship entire Zambian copper production. A premature escalation of economic sanctions is therefore not in Zambia's own self-interest.
/2/Telegram 1045 from Lusaka, December 22, reported that President Kaunda was planning to stop all copper shipments through Rhodesia if by noon on December 24 Smith had not revoked a 5 pound surcharge on coal exported to Zambia. (Ibid.)
If Kaunda nevertheless determined to move in the direction indicated, agree you should try to persuade him to refrain from specifying any particular quantity of copper so as to leave room for greatest possible flexibility.
While continuing to support British position you should not commit US to measures beyond those already taken by USG and announced.
We have already asked for bids on charter aircraft for POL lift and hope complete arrangements soon. Will telegraph latest developments on this point. Unable to give estimates at this moment on quantity of copper that could be moved on airlift as now planned after allowing for space for empty drums but believe quantity would be small. Will cable separately additional estimates on this point.
FYI: Recent Department analyses indicate full Zambian rescue operation likely cost about $150 million. Funds are not available. As indication magnitude US contribution you have been informed we currently thinking in terms $2 million. End FYI.
More guidance follows. If you can delay conversation with Kaunda even for hour or two, would be preferable. If this impossible, proceed on basis foregoing guidance.
518. Memorandum From Ulric Haynes of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Komer)/1/
Washington, December 23, 1965.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Haynes Files, Chrono (Haynes), 3/1/65-6/15/66. Confidential.
FYI. Most of the points made by the Zambian Foreign Minister and Minister of Mines at Soapy's dinner last night covered old ground./2/ However, a couple of arguments not often heard are worth noting:
/2/A Zambian mission composed of Foreign Minister Simon Kapwepwe and Minister of Mines A.G. Zulu visited Washington December 22-27 to discuss the Rhodesian situation.
1) Most observers in the UK and US seem more concerned about the political consequences to the Wilson Government, if the UK resorts to force in Rhodesia. Such observors ignore the political consequences to the Kaunda Government, if force is not used. (Comment: This is a valid point. If the Wilson Government falls, its successor will still be a responsible government with which we can deal. If Kaunda falls, leftist radicals will assume power, and racial strife and chaos could result throughout Southern Africa.)
2) The GOZ wants the UK to pay the extra royalty and taxes imposed by the Rhodesians on coal and coke going to Zambia. They suggest that payment be made from the Rhodesian funds blocked in the UK. Thus far, the UK has been non-committal.
3) The Minister of Mines underscored the danger that European and Japanese industrial users of Zambian copper might permanently adapt to other metals, if the uncertainty caused by the rebellion continues. In this event, the effect on the Zambian economy would be irreparable and disastrous.
4) In its meeting today, the GOZ mission will probably press for US support to get the UK to put down the Rhodesian rebellion by force. They would probably reluctantly settle for our promise to approach the UK to reimburse the GOZ for the extra charges on coal and coke. (Comment: If the UK were to agree to reimburse the GOZ, this might ease the pressure within Zambia for the use of force until after the Christmas holidays. By that time, the UK predicts the "bite" of sanctions will be severely felt in Rhodesia.)/3/
/3/The joint communique issued on December 27 states that Secretary Rusk confirmed that the United States planned to begin to make a significant contribution to the airlift of oil supplies to Zambia in cooperation with the United Kingdom and Canada in the first week of January 1966. For text, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1965, p. 694.
/4/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
519. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Zambia/1/
Washington, December 29, 1965, 8:36 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted by McElhiney and Chalfin on December 23, cleared by Mann and Haynes, and approved by Williams.
1084. Embassy is requested to deliver the following reply from President Johnson to President Kaunda's letter of December 15 (urtel 993):/2/
/2/Dated December 16. (Ibid.) See footnote 4, Document 514.
"Dear President Kaunda:
Thank you for your letters of December 15 and December 18 in which you express your concern which I share for the situation in Rhodesia and its ramifications on your own country.
By now you have been informed of our willingness to assist the British in mounting an airlift to provide Zambia with the petroleum products denied to your country by Southern Rhodesia as a consequence of the recently declared oil embargo. I want to assure you that I am most sympathetically aware of Zambia's difficult position and that we will continue to be as helpful as possible during these trying days.
Secretary Rusk and other officials of the Department of State welcome the opportunity that you gave them for direct conversations with Foreign Minister Kapwepwe and Minister of Mines Zulu. The exchange of views we have had with them has been most useful and constructive.
Rest assured that the United States is keenly aware of the need to safeguard the position of Zambia in this period of crisis.
Lyndon B. Johnson"
520. Memorandum From Ulric Haynes of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/
Washington, December 30, 1965.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Haynes Memos. Confidential. Copies were sent to Komer and Saunders.
1. The mystery of the President's OK on $2 million for the Zambian airlift has been cleared up. In a conversation with Tom Mann this morning, I asked if he had been informed of the President's approval. His reply was, "yes, by a female secretary from the ranch on Christmas day".
2. If he has not already been in touch with you, Mann will be calling you today and sending over a memo, seeking quick Presidential approval for an additional $3 million in AID funds for Zambian contingency plan. This additional money is required because (a) our participation in the Zambian oil airlift has proven more expensive than anticipated, and (b) we still need to fulfill our agreement to help improve overland transportation routes to and from Zambia. The $3 million will be obtained by juggling around existing SA allocations for Africa.
3. As Komer and I have been predicting, the operation to protect Zambia is proving more and more expensive to the US. At this stage, our support for the Zambian operation represents a two-month commitment. If the Smith regime does not collapse within that period, the UK and Zambia will surely be back to us for even more support.
4. Having gone this far in support of the Zambian airlift, I would certainly recommend that the President approve the additional $3 million. However, State should increase pressures on the UK for the "quick kill" in Rhodesia, stressing that we are fast reaching the financial limits of our support.
521. Memorandum From Ulric Haynes of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/
Washington, January 6, 1966.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Rhodesia, Vol. I. Secret. A copy was sent to Komer.
Situation Report: Rhodesian Crisis
1. We have finally received some indication of the UK strategy (see London's T-3099 attached)/2/ to bring down the Smith regime. In brief, it is based on the assumption that, once Zambia is allowed to participate, economic sanctions will work by late spring. At that time, the British predict the Governor of Rhodesia could form a new government with wide internal support. (Our assessment is much more pessimistic.) A UK military presence might be necessary to back up such a government for a time.
/2/Dated January 5; not printed. A copy is in Department of State, Central Files, IT 7-16 TANZAN-ZAMBIA.
2. The UK strategy leaves unanswered an important question of US involvement: Since the US commitment in the Zambia protection effort is for two months only, what will the UK expect of us if economic sanctions don't work by the end of February?
3. A working-level US mission arrives in London today to try to gain a better understanding of the UK's thinking.
4. African pressures on the UK have weakened considerably as they have failed to reach agreement on a unified policy or course of action:
(a) The Commonwealth Conference in Lagos on January 11 promises to be a fizzle with indications that Australia, New Zealand, Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago and Tanzania will not participate. Even those who plan to attend probably will not be represented by their PMs. Wilson himself will attend but would have liked to avoid going. His non-attendance would have hurt Nigerian PM Balewa's standing in Africa.
(b) There's a good chance that the OAU Summit Meeting on Rhodesia proposed for January 19 will not take place. Already some 11 member nations have objected to the meeting.
(c) Because of the recent spate of coups in French-speaking Africa, the 13-nation OCAM meeting in Madagascar may be postponed. Rhodesia was one of the agenda items.
(d) The early rush to break diplomatic relations with the UK has ceased with only nine nations having broken.
5. US participation in the POL airlift to Zambia commenced on January 4 and apparently the combined UK, Canadian and US effort will keep Zambia adequately supplied.
6. Smith has announced his willingness to (a) refine and ship Zambia's POL and (b) stop the $14 per ton export royalty on Rhodesian coal shipped to Zambia. Kaunda has rejected (a) and has not reacted to (b) on the grounds that these are Smith's propaganda ploys to divert world attention from the central issues. So far, the UK agrees with Kaunda.
522. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/
Washington, January 7, 1966, 4:56 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted, cleared, and approved by Bruce Lancaster of S/S.
3894. For Charge only. Following message received by President from Primin Wilson January 7:
"Before I set off for this rather extraordinary Commonwealth meeting at Lagos, I thought I would let you know how I see things developing in Rhodesia. I need hardly tell you that I have very considerable qualms about going: but I have decided that it would be more harmful to absent myself than to be present. Faced with this choice of evils, I have decided it was right to go: first, because I think it is in all our interests to try and keep the Commonwealth together and secondly because I am sure that we must do all we can to maintain the prestige and standing of moderate African leaders like Abubakar./2/
/2/Sir Abubakar Balewa, Prime Minister of Nigeria.
"When we last met I told you that I thought that the euphoria of independence and of Christmas would carry the Smith regime over into the New Year, and that they would thereafter start to suffer from post-hogmanay gloom. Thanks to your Administration's ready agreement to join with us in an oil embargo and to help us with a consequential airlift to Zambia and to fairly general support throughout the free world for what we are doing, this is precisely what is now happening. With the introduction of petrol rationing, the dolce vita of the European population is starting to come to an end. Responsible business leaders are forecasting considerable European unemployment before long. Added to that there is severe drought in Matebeleland where the maize harvest has failed (though this throws up further problems) which we are looking into. Two Johannesburg papers, originally pro-Smith, are now saying he cannot win: the South African Government is cautiously neutral and the Portuguese seem to be hedging their bets.
"As economic difficulties begin to press upon the regime, I think we shall find that, administratively, they will not have the experience or competence to deal with it. Indeed, the evidence is now starting to accumulate that many thinking people in Rhodesia realize that the Smith regime cannot win. It is only a matter of time before more and more people come to realize that life can only get worse and that the alternative of returning to constitutional rule is better than any prospect that Smith has got to offer. It is tempting but unwise to try and put a date to the turning point, and I will not attempt to do so: but I personally am convinced that it will come and that it could come sooner than we think.
"I am therefore totally convinced, privately, that we have Smith on the run, and that it will not be long before this becomes clear publicly. It may soon be wise to start thinking of peace terms. While we want to bring Smith down and bring him down quickly, we must be able to discredit Smith utterly if we are to make sense of the reconstruction period. There can be no question of negotiating with Smith as equals. But this does not mean that we should not be thinking of methods of restoring the rule of law in Rhodesia and we are hard at work on this. As soon as our ideas are clearer I will be in touch with you again. Any public announcement of our peace aims will need very careful timing: I cannot afford to lose my African audience by giving them any reason to think that we are weakening in our resolve to bring Smith down: equally I must make a statement early enough to give the Europeans hope for better things if they reject Smith. The problem of my four constituencies is always with me.
"The next immediate hurdle is of course the Lagos meeting. Now that, with your help, and with that of all our allies and friends, sanctions are clearly beginning to bite, I am more hopeful of being able to turn discussion into constructive channels than I was when Abubakar first made his proposal and visited London before Christmas.
"I shall have to give our Commonwealth partners a very frank account of what we are doing and try to make them share my own conviction that this rebellion will be brought to heel. There will also be some talk about Zambia's problems. I shall, moreover, have to listen to some fairly severe lectures on the need to introduce one man one vote at the earliest possible moment. But I am resolved not to give way to demands for the use of force at once and I shall at this stage be able to do no more than listen to their advice about how to handle matters in the future. It would be fatal to spell out in detail our ideas for constitutional development. It would be bound to offend one or more of my constituencies. If I can keep the Africans quiet for a few more weeks and avoid senseless action in the Organization of African Unity and embarrassing initiatives in the United Nations the visit will have been worthwhile.
"I will let you know how I get on and keep you in touch with my thinking for the future. My people were in touch with yours about the details of current strategy and tactics. I am much encouraged by your resolute support. We shall win."
523. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/
Washington, January 7, 1966, 5:11 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Drafted, cleared, and approved by Bruce Lancaster of S/S.
3896. For Charge only. Following is message received from the Prime Minister to President via privacy channel:
"In my earlier message today, I mentioned that drought in Rhodesia was presenting Smith with problems and might have repercussions on ourselves.
My colleagues and I discussed this further this morning and it is clear that the drought is prevalent throughout central Africa. We have therefore decided that it would be right, on humanitarian grounds, to prevent starvation and on practical grounds to prevent starvation leading to rioting and bloodshed to see what we can do to help. As we are proposing to press sanctions on Rhodesia on other fields, we might appear to be inconsistent: but I think that opinion generally would draw the necessary distinction.
I have therefore this morning been in contact by telephone with both Bob Menzies and Mike Pearson and we have agreed to look into the possibilities of a joint commonwealth initiative to relieve the famine. If wheat is a suitable substitute for the failure of maize, then both Australia and Canada will be able to help from their own stocks: we should of course make a financial contribution. If maize is essential, then we may have to make this a combined operation bringing you in. But you have done so much already that we shall not do so unless it is absolutely necessary. I know that famine in India is in all our minds.
I shall be letting it be known, informally, this afternoon that Menzies, Pearson and I are in touch on this problem."
524. Message From President Johnson to Prime Minister Wilson/1/
Washington, January 7, 1966.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. 18. No classification marking. A covering note from Bundy to the President dated January 8, 11:30 a.m., reads: "Mr. President: Bob Komer has negotiated the attached rather short and straightforward message to Prime Minister Wilson (Tab A) in answer to his message of yesterday on Rhodesia. I think it meets the requirements. You may also want to look at a second message which came in yesterday (Tab B), but which does not require an additional answer. McG.B." A handwritten notation indicates that the President's message was sent at 3:30 on January 8, presumably through the "privacy channel" referred to in Document 523.
It was most considerate of you to share your thoughts on the Rhodesian crisis again on the eve of your departure for Lagos. We on this side certainly appreciate the delicacy of the situation you face, as well as the problem of supplying Zambia while applying sanctions to the Smith regime. After your meeting in Lagos, we shall look forward to getting your latest estimates and plans. There may be serious difficulties ahead, particularly as to whether the African states will sit still long enough to permit sanctions to bring Smith down.
My best wishes for every success at Lagos.
Lyndon B. Johnson/2/
/2/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
525. Note From the President's Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Komer) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/
Washington, January 8, 1966.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Name File, Komer Memos. Secret.
According to Mann, Pat Dean said that it would help enormously if we could issue a statement Monday asking our companies not to import asbestos and lithium from Rhodesia. This is apparently a play to back British contention of total embargo at Lagos.
I agreed with Tom that a low-key State announcement to this effect would cause no problem. Our imports are marginal. However, this would bother US Vanadium which has a major chrom mine in Rhodesia. Vanadium fears that if it is then asked to cut off chrom imports, Rhodesians will retaliate by letting the mine flood, at substantial cost. Tom and I thought this contingent problem worth risking./2/
/2/A notation in the margin in Bundy's handwriting reads: "I agree."
526. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/
Washington, January 11, 1966, 4:58 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted by John P. Walsh of S/S, and approved by Mann.
3979. The following message was received today from Prime Minister Wilson through White House channels:
"(1) In my last message on the Rhodesian problem I said I would keep you informed about how I get on in Lagos. Now that I am here, I am hopeful that with a modicum of luck we should get through this meeting all right. But having spoken to Malcolm MacDonald, who is here from Lusaka, it appears that the situation in Zambia is far from good. I have therefore decided, at very considerable inconvenience that it would be right for me to pay a brief visit to Kaunda to try to get him on the rails again.
(2) The facts of the situation are these. At the right moment, the closing of the Zambia border with Rhodesia could be of decisive influence in giving Smith a coup de grace but it is essential that this card should be played at the right time. If it is played too early before the Smith regime and Rhodesian opinion are convinced that the game is up and before we have taken all the necessary steps to see that Zambia could survive the few weeks of final collapse in Rhodesia and possible cut off of supplies from the copper belt, this key move in the whole process could ruin Zambia without overthrowing Smith. The timing is therefore of the essence. Kaunda, who is understandably, in a very nervous frame of mind, is threatening to close the border before we are ready for it, before he can survive it and before it will be really effective in terms of bringing Smith down.
(3) My main objective in going to Lusaka will be therefore to try and steady him and to get our strategy better co-ordinated. There are in addition other things to discuss with him. I plan to be in Zambia on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. It would be an immense help to me if you felt able, before my arrival, to send a personal message to President Kaunda through your Ambassador in Lusaka saying that I have explained our strategy fully to you, expressing your confidence that economic sanctions were working, that the crunch with Smith might be approaching but that it was essential in everybody's interests to get the timing of the final sanction of closing the Rhodesia border with Zambia right; and that you would hope that he, Kaunda, and I would reach agreement on this in everybody's interest. He simply must be made to realise that the vast efforts which you and we are making at great cost to ourselves need to exert their maximum effect but that given time they should put Zambia in a position where she could safely administer the final blow."/2/
/2/On January 12, the President sent a message to Wilson saying that he was "weighing in at Lusaka in an effort to steady Kaunda." (Telegram 1445 to Lagos, January 12; Department of State, S/S Files: Lot 67 D 262, Presidential Correspondence, Pres. to UK/Wilson) Telegram 1195 to Lusaka, January 12, transmitted a letter from Johnson to President Kaunda urging close coordination with Prime Minister Wilson, and emphasizing his own belief that it would be harmful if the border between Zambia and Southern Rhodesia were closed before Zambia was prepared, as a result of the programs currently being carried out, to meet the situation. (Ibid., Central Files, POL 7 UK)
527. Memorandum From the President's Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Komer) to President Johnson/1/
Washington, January 13, 1966, 11:45 a.m.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. 18. Secret. "For Information Only" is handwritten at the top of the source text, which also bears a handwritten "L," indicating that the President saw the memorandum.
Rhodesian Sitrep. Wilson, who is handling Rhodesia personally, seems to have bought some time by his skillful handling of the Commonwealth Conference. However, the key remains Kaunda, whom Wilson is seeing today in an attempt to get Zambia to hold off cutting its own economic lifeline until sanctions have had a chance to work. Wilson's effort, backed by your message, should suffice for a time--though many of us are skeptical that Kaunda will sit still long enough to give Wilson's strategy a full run.
Meanwhile, there are mildly encouraging signs that sanctions are beginning to bite in Rhodesia. We hear that the business community is hurting. State's best experts are now coming around to the view that it's no longer a question of whether sanctions will work but of whether Smith will cave before Kaunda or other Africans do something foolish.
If Smith caves, Wilson's plan is to restore direct UK rule via the Governor (who is still holding the fort in Rhodesia) and devise a new plan for gradual progress toward black majority rule. There is a risk, however, that even if Smith caves soon other extremists will take over, creating a chaotic situation in which Wilson may have to fly in troops.
In sum, even we skeptics are a little more hopeful now that Wilson's strategy may work. If so, he will have pulled our African chestnuts out of the fire along with his (although the success of economic sanctions will create an ominous precedent for the Portuguese and South African problems still down the road).
/2/McGeorge Bundy initialed below Komer's signature.
528. Message From Prime Minister Wilson to President Johnson/1/
London, January 14, 1966, 11:20 a.m.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, McGeorge Bundy, Vol. 18. Secret. A handwritten "L" on the source text indicates that the President saw the message. The message was sent to the President along with a January 14 memorandum from Komer noting that the key point was probably the agreement with Kaunda that Zambia should not cut its economic links with Rhodesia until at least mid-February; that airlift demands would "go way up" when that happened; and that Wilson was "quietly trying to position himself to use force for the final kill." (Ibid.)
I am now back in London after my round Africa safari having seen all seven African heads of government with whom we are in relations, the only notable omissions being of course Nkrumah and Nyerere. It has been well worth while and I think my Commonwealth and African constituencies are now quiescent at least for the time being.
The Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Meeting at Lagos went in the end far better than I could reasonably have hoped. The meeting itself was not without its moments, particularly my debate with Field Marshal Margai of Sierra Leone about an opposed landing in Rhodesia on the first day and a very rewarding closed session at the end of the second day when only heads of government were present without their advisers and in the course of which I was able to take them pretty fully into my confidence both about present policies and future objectives. As you will have seen from the communique the Commonwealth as a whole have reaffirmed their recognition that Rhodesia is a British responsibility and while in a sense I have had to account to them for that responsibility, they are now content to let me discharge it for the time being in my own way. There were some members--a minority I am glad to say--who still hankered after the use of force: but the Commonwealth collectively has agreed to give sanctions a fair run. Your own decision on asbestos and lithium could not have been better timed to make maximum impact. The meeting was I think a victory for moderation. It has strengthened the Commonwealth vis-a-vis the extremists of the Organization of African Unity and it has held at least for the time being, the position in the United Nations on Chapter VII. It has added to the prestige of the sound moderate leaders like Abubakar; above all, I have avoided being pressed any further than my public position in the House of Commons. The price of this has been the very modest one of the establishment of two committees to meet in London and an undertaking to meet the Commonwealth again if, by July, sanctions have still not succeeded in their objective, to that extent time has been gained. All in all commonsense and realism prevailed.
I then went on to Lusaka where I have had very good meetings with Kaunda, both privately and with his ministers. Your own very helpful message had eased my path for me.
I had two main objectives: first, to secure Kaunda's agreement that plans for the quick kill (the closing of the Zambian frontier with Rhodesia) should be carefully coordinated between Zambia and Britain, Kaunda is no longer suicidal and I managed not only to secure acceptance that we should not proceed to the second front before mid February, but I also have a fair prospect of getting their agreement, that even when the Zambian frontier is closed to Rhodesian industrial goods, coal will be exempt, with all that that means in airlift terms. This date of mid February is the earliest at which, on the best expert advice, it would be prudent to contemplate delivering the death blow to illegality. Even so it may mean that Zambia will be reduced to a care and maintenance basis for a period of indeterminate length.
My second objective was to try and persuade Kaunda to accept British forces in Zambia so that at the right moment, they would be ready to move into Rhodesia either invited or unopposed. On this I think I have got Kaunda away from his insistence on placing troops across the Zambia and though he has not yet agreed to accept a Commonwealth presence on the Zambian side of the frontier with Rhodesia, he is now, I think, at least more ready to contemplate something along lines I could accept. All in all, he is a bit more relaxed, much more ready to give sanctions a chance, and does at least accept that we really mean to bring Smith down. He does of course feel himself very exposed economically and, politically, he finds it very difficult to accept a position in which Zambia, for purely practical reasons, is forced to take up a less uncompromising attitude than his fellow Africans towards commercial ties with Rhodesia, because of the inevitable interdependence of the two neighbor economies. For the time being, however, I think we have got him on the rails again.
In Nairobi I had an hour meeting with Kenyatta, and found him as usual wise, relaxed and completely sympathetic, both on sanctions and on the inevitability of gradualness towards majority rule in the reconstruction period.
As you will have seen, the Commonwealth Secretary did not in the end manage to get to Salisbury to see the Governor. But as I indicated in my earlier message, I can play at home the difficulties about personal safety and recognition as usefully as if he had gone in. My qualms about the Governor remain, home African and world fronts now in tolerable order--and I realize of course that the most overworked phrase in this message has been for the time being--I can now concentrate on the internal Rhodesian situation.
All in all, the past week has been time well spent. The situation has of course been transformed by the oil sanctions and the working of the Zambia airlift. In consequence the Commonwealth in general and Commonwealth Africans in particular now accept Britain's responsibility and good faith and this means that we can now make the running ourselves. The point of major difficulty which lies ahead is how to translate economic hardship in Rhodesia into a political readiness to capitulate. For this the Europeans in Rhodesia will have to be given some assurances for their future as well as evidence of continuing and growing hardship if they persist in rebellion. The time is approaching therefore when I shall have to make a public statement on our peace aims. This I shall probably have to do before Parliament reassembles during the last week of January. This will have to be accompanied by a further tightening of the sanctions screw in order to demonstrate that we are not peace-making from weakness. You have experience in such strategy. I will be in touch with you again.
529. Memorandum From Ulric Haynes of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Komer)/1/
Washington, February 2, 1966.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Haynes Files, Chrono (Haynes), 3/1/65-6/15/66. Confidential.
FYI. The following are the main points of interest to come out of yesterday's US-UK talks/2/ on the Rhodesian crisis:
/2/The annual U.S.-U.K. talks on Africa were held in Washington February 1-3. The U.S. delegation was headed by Assistant Secretary Williams and the British delegation was headed by Sir Roger Allen, Deputy Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. The discussions are recorded in memoranda of conversation in Department of State, Central Files, POL UK-US.
1. UK feels they can hold off Zambia's participation in sanctions until the latter half of March (in spite of the Wilson-Kaunda previous agreement on a February 15 date).
2. Rhodesia should run out of POL products in mid-April with serious distribution problems arising before that time.
3. Sir Hugh Beadle predicts that white Rhodesian confidence in the Smith regime will crack when a complete POL cut-off occurs because of Smith's assurances to his supporters that this would never happen.
4. Coal from the Kandabwe mines will start reaching the Zambian Copper Belt at the rate of 15,000 tons per month by mid-February.
5. During the period of Zambia's participation in sanctions, there will be no copper production because available coal will be used exclusively to generate the power needed to keep the copper mines pumped out.
6. UDI is now being referred to as "IDI" by the British, i.e., "Illegal Declaration of Independence."
7. According to British estimates, the chances are very slim for majority rule in Rhodesia even within five years after the end of IDI.
8. The UK plans to hold a meeting around the end of February to determine how friendly governments and private foundations could help them in the rehabilitation of Rhodesia after IDI.
9. Specific UK requests for US assistance:
a) continuation of airlift support through the end of April;
b) US assistance in calming down African governments when and if there is an increase in African pressures on the UK for the "quick kill."
My general impression of the talks on Rhodesia is that the British are surprisingly optimistic about the success of their scenario. They are certainly much more optimistic than we are./3/
/3/A February 3 memorandum from Haynes to Komer summarizes items of interest raised during the concluding sessions of the talks. It states that the British indicated that they intended to rely on economic sanctions to bring down the Smith regime and did not want to use force because of the consequences to Zambia, the negative attitude of the British public, and the risk of more direct aid to Rhodesia from South Africa. They were prepared to use British forces after Smith's downfall, however, if necessary to guarantee internal security. (Johnson Library, Name File, Haynes Memos)
/4/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
530. Memorandum From the President's Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Komer) to President Johnson/1/
Washington, February 17, 1966, 4:10 p.m.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Rhodesia, Vol II, Memos and Miscellaneous, 3/66-12/68. Secret.
The Rhodesian situation is heating up again and attracting a lot more press coverage--some of it with adverse ramifications on us.
Unlike the British, our experts feel that while economic sanctions have succeeded in hurting the Rhodesian economy, they are far from achieving the political objective of Smith's downfall. The situation in Rhodesia remains calm and local authorities are in firm control. Smith's ability to hold out this long has earned him virtually the solid support of the white minority. The African majority is still quiescent.
Smith's continued ability to hold out is being reinforced by (a) an increasing trickle of POL from private South African sources, (b) effective radio and press censorship, (c) the fact that economic sanctions are not 100% effective, and (d) Harold Wilson's widely disseminated announcement that HMG will not use military force to end the rebellion.
The longer the Rhodesian problem remains on the boards, the more difficult it will become for the US. Already, the US is being criticized by Africans for permitting the reopening of the Rhodesian Information Office here last week. (The Governments of Ghana and Nigeria have officially protested, and the African Ambassadors in Washington have been meeting to work out some concerted action.) The Justice Department points out that because the Rhodesians have registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, there is no quick way to close down the office./2/ Our explanation that registration in no way implies US approval of the Rhodesians' activities or US recognition of the Smith regime has not silenced critics. Already connections are evident between the reopened Rhodesian Information Office and extreme rightwing US groups. In connection with our support for economic sanctions, we are also faced with the possibility that some of the US tobacco companies may not cooperate with the recent UK ban on the export of and trade in Rhodesian tobacco. Finally, with Zambia chafing at the bit to participate fully in sanctions and pressuring Wilson for a forceful military solution and with white resistance in Rhodesia increasing, the UK may well be obliged to commit a lot more military might to achieving an ultimate solution than if it had gone for the "quick kill" at the outset.
/2/A February 25 letter from Under Secretary Mann to Henry J.C. Hooper, the registered agent for the Rhodesian Information Office in Washington, formerly attached to the British Embassy, stated that since Hooper was no longer a diplomatic representative of the British Government and the United States did not recognize any independent state of "Rhodesia," he had no official capacity in the United States. If he wished to remain as a private citizen, he could apply to the Department of Justice for adjustment of his status to that of resident alien. For text of Mann's letter, see Department of State Bulletin, April 11, 1966, pp. 588-589.
The UK's measured approach to ending the Rhodesian rebellion seems to ignore the financial and practical limits to US support of efforts to keep Zambia afloat during the crisis. In fact, yesterday the UK put out feelers to test our willingness to extend our airlift participation beyond mid-April. That they plan to do so is further evidence that Wilson is no longer counting on bringing Smith down in two months or so. The longer the crisis goes on, the greater the risk that African frustration will be turned on the UK and on us.
/3/McGeorge Bundy initialed below Komer's signature.
531. Paper Prepared in the Department of State/1/
Washington, April 4, 1966.
/1/Source: Department of State, S/S Files: Lot 70 D 236, SIG/DOC: 3--4/14/66-- Southern Rhodesia: Next Talks With the British. Secret. No drafting information appears on the source text which is filed with a covering note of April 4 from Staff Director of the Senior Interdepartmental Group (SIG) Harry H. Schwartz transmitting the paper for consideration at the fifth SIG meeting scheduled for April 5. The meeting was subsequently rescheduled and held on April 12.
Southern Rhodesia: Next Talks with the British
The purpose of this paper is to obtain the approval by the Senior Interdepartmental Group of "a set of instructions for a frank talk with the British Government shortly after the British elections which would set forth the limits of U.S. involvement in the Rhodesian problem."
There are listed below (a) a statement of the basic objectives the U.S. seeks to achieve in its relations with the U.K. on the Rhodesian problem (at this stage strictly for internal USG use) and (b) talking points for use by an American spokesman designed to elicit from the British their current assessment and future plans. Information elicited from the British would be used to define U.S. objectives more precisely before we inform the British of the limits of our involvement.
Basic U.S. Objectives in Relations with British
1. The U.S. should encourage the U.K. to reach a negotiated settlement of the Rhodesian problem that would be compatible with the spirit and intent of (a) Security Council Resolution of November 20, 1965, and (b) Prime Minister Wilson's six principles. (It is understood that such a settlement can be negotiated only when HMG can deal from a position of greater strength than at present, which would probably have to be based on a tightening of the present economic sanctions and/or some troop deployment carrying a credible threat of force.)
2. We should endeavor to avoid a situation in which effective African pressures could be mounted to invoke mandatory economic sanctions under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. We should therefore encourage the British to take courses of action which would minimize this possibility.
3. In consideration of our relations with Zambia and other African governments and quite apart from our relations with the British, it is in the U.S. interest to continue to help mitigate the effects of UDI upon Zambia. However, HMG should understand that Congressional attitudes could prevent the use of appropriated funds for this purpose or other purposes connected with the Rhodesian problem unless positive steps are taken soon by the U.K. to end traffic with North Viet Nam by British- flag (Hong Kong-registered) shipping.
4. The U.S. should make clear to the British that it cannot commit itself to direct military involvement in Rhodesia.
5. The U.S. should keep the burden of responsibility clearly on the British to find an acceptable solution to the problem. We should therefore confine ourselves initially to endeavoring to obtain a clearer indication of British intentions and should refrain from encouraging or discouraging them with respect to any particular course of action at least until after this has been accomplished.
1. The policy of the U.S. is to continue to support the Security Council Resolution of November 20 and, to the extent possible, to support British efforts to reach an early settlement of the Rhodesian problem.
2. On the basis of recent intelligence do the British now believe that the Smith regime can be brought down through economic sanctions alone within the time limits that appear politically tolerable?
3. Do the British believe that it is wise to encourage Zambia to sever completely its economic relations with Southern Rhodesia unless or until it is clear that by so doing Zambia would be contributing to the early downfall of the Smith regime? HMG's estimate as to when this cut-off might take place is desired.
4. In view of the leakages in the oil embargo, does the U.K. believe that further approaches should be made to Portugal and South Africa to reiterate earlier warnings of dangers inherent in the Southern Rhodesian situation for those countries helping the illegal regime?
5. How do the British assess the prospects of rising African pressures for mandatory economic sanctions under Chapter VII and how could we best coordinate our positions to deal with these pressures?
6. What does HMG consider are the prospects for success in negotiations with Rhodesian elements on a basis compatible with the Security Council Resolution of November 20 and with Prime Minister Wilson's six principles?
7. With whom might the British be willing to negotiate a settlement: With the Smith regime? With the Rhodesian Front without Smith? With a coalition of white elements after the downfall of Smith? With a coalition of anti-Smith whites and moderate Africans? With a coalition of Africans and moderate whites? With the African nationalists?
8. In the event that the sanctions program does not appear to be achieving the U.K.'s objective within the time frame which HMG considers tolerable, what alternative or supplementary measures does HMG believe it could take in order to strengthen its negotiating position or otherwise terminate the rebellion
532. Record of Agreements and Decisions at the Fifth Meeting of the Senior Interdepartmental Group/1/
Washington, April 12, 1966.
/1/Source: Department of State, S/S Files: Lot 70 D 263, SIG/RA: #5--May 3, 66--Discussion on France, NATO, and Rhodesia. Secret; Exdis.
The Under Secretary of State (Chairman)
The Deputy Secretary of Defense
The Administrator, AID
The Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff
The Deputy Director, USIA
The Deputy Director, CIA
The Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
The Special Assistant to the President, Mr. Walt W. Rostow
The Staff Director
Mr. Dean Acheson
The Under Secretary for Economic Affairs
[Here follows discussion of an unrelated topic.]
2. Rhodesia: It was decided that American officials should, as a matter of urgency, talk to the British on this subject not only to attempt to determine the nature of British thinking, but also to inform them of our thinking:
a. The United States will not in any way permit itself to be involved militarily in Rhodesia.
b. We think that economic sanctions have reached a level beyond which further escalation would not be profitable.
The Group also discussed the broad choices open to the British--the use of force or negotiations which could lead to a reasonably acceptable political settlement. If the British choose to use force they must understand that it will be done without us. Consideration was also given to the more positive role the U.S. might play in trying to create conditions which, hopefully, could lead to a speedy political settlement of the Rhodesia problem.
[Here follows discussion of an unrelated topic.]
Harry H. Schwartz
Staff Director, SIG
533. Memorandum From Ulric Haynes of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant (Rostow)/1/
Washington, April 18, 1966.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Rhodesia, Vol. II, Memos and Miscellaneous, 2/66-12/68. Confidential.
The following is a brief situation report on the Rhodesian crisis bringing the events of the past two weeks up to date.
I. UN Activity--At the UK's request, a UNSC meeting was finally held on April 11, at which the UK's resolution on Rhodesia was passed in spite of African and Communist Bloc efforts to broaden and strengthen it. As passed, the resolution called the breach of the voluntary oil embargo "a threat to the peace" and authorized the UK to use force to stop tankers carrying oil for Rhodesia from docking at the port of Beira in (Portuguese) Mozambique./2/
/2/For text of U.N. Security Council Resolution 221 (1966), see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1966, p. 597.
II. Consequences--On the strength of the UN resolution, the UK has prevented two tankers with oil for Rhodesia from being unloaded. Both tankers are Greek-owned and their cargo was purchased for Rhodesia by a South African firm The Portuguese are angry with the UK for making them the scapegoat for an "oil leak" into Rhodesia which originates solely in South Africa.
Because of the UN resolution, the Smith regime has withdrawn its skeleton representation from London and ordered the UK to close down its residual mission in Salisbury.
The UK has recalled its Ambassador to South Africa for consultations and instructions. He will probably return to South Africa with instructions to make the following pitch to Prime Minister Verwoerd: (a) South Africa should cooperate in the oil embargo in its own interest and perhaps (b) request Verwoerd to intercede with Smith to end the Rhodesian crisis.
Dissatisfaction with the UN resolution has led the Africans and Communist Bloc to re-group in the UN's Committee of 24 to press for a stronger UNSC resolution calling for (a) total economic sanctions against Rhodesia, and (b) the UK to use force to put down the Rhodesian rebellion.
III. At Stake--The longer the Rhodesian crisis continues, the harder it becomes to solve and the greater the risks for UK and US prestige and influence in Africa. Some obvious considerations are:
(a) Prolongation will result in the Rhodesian crisis being tied into the crisis of South Africa's compliance with the International Court's decision in the South West Africa case in June or July;
(b) Wilson's failure to put down the Rhodesian rebellion prior to the July Commonwealth PM's meeting could precipitate African members' leaving the Commonwealth;
(c) Prolongation is having a serious adverse economic and psychological impact on Zambia and could topple the government of the moderate President Kaunda;
(d) US Civil Rights groups are beginning to focus on the problem;
(e) If economic sanctions cause the disintegration of the Rhodesian economy, the cost of reconstruction to the UK will be prohibitive;
(f) Prolongation encourages the determination to resist of the Smith regime and its supporters.
IV. Our Moves--State is currently taking quiet and discreet soundings in London and with the Australians and New Zealanders to explore possible approaches based on mediation leading ultimately to negotiations by the principals./3/
/3/A handwritten notation in the margin of the source text reads: "Stewart coming. Mann in charge. We want a negotiation approach--Wilson is reported leaning that way."
534. Message From Prime Minister Wilson to President Johnson/1/
London, April 27, 1966.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 19 RHOD. Secret; Nodis.
I was very grateful for your kind reaction to my message about the Rhodesian feeler./2/
/2/In an April 22 message, Wilson had informed the President of a secret feeler from Rhodesia indicating that Ian Smith was interested in beginning talks to settle the present situation with no preconditions whatsoever. (Ibid.) Johnson's reply of April 23 expressed the President's support for Wilson's efforts to settle this "critical problem" peacefully. (Ibid.)
As you can imagine, things have moved fast since then. Wright's report of the businesslike talk he had with Smith and his general impressions of the situation derived from this talk and from what the Governor and Beaddle said to him was sufficiently forthcoming, in our view, to justify continuing the dialogue. Briefly, Wright recognized that only the next round of talks could establish whether a basis for negotiation existed. But he thought that the omens were pretty good and firmly recommended that we should at least go on to the next round.
Accordingly, I sent him back to reach agreement with Smith on the holding of strictly informal talks with no pre-conditions to establish whether a basis existed for the subsequent negotiation of an acceptable settlement. We are appointing Duncan Watson, with Oliver Wright, to represent us at these talks and have proposed that the first round at least should be in London, though it may be desirable for the subsequent rounds to take place in Salisbury.
Before Wright had been able to put this to Smith, the news had begun to break in the South African press, though it is not absolutely clear whether the leak was in South Africa or in Salisbury. At all events, I had been convinced that we should not be able to keep this secret and had told Wright to warn Smith that if the news broke, a statement would have to be made. He managed to agree to a short text with Smith and this is contained in the first paragraph of the statement I shall now make in the House this afternoon. The text of this is attached./3/ To protect Smith, we have agreed not to say specifically that he first approached the Governor. But the text clearly implies that the initiation was made in Salisbury.
With luck, this publicity should not make it too difficult for us to pursue these exploratory talks. But you will realize that it is still an entirely open question whether the talks will reveal that any solid basis exists for an eventual solution. I know that you share our hopes. I am sure that you also share our recognition of the pitfalls.
I will, of course, continue to keep you posted./4/
/4/A new round of British-Rhodesian talks began in London on May 9.
535. Memorandum of Conversation/1/
Washington, May 16, 1966, 2 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 19 RHOD. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Stoessel, and approved by the White House on May 18. The meeting took place at the White House.
Message to President from Prime Minister of Portugal concerning Rhodesia
Mr. Walter W. Rostow
Mr. Walter J. Stoessel, Jr. (EUR)
Mr. Chester C. Carter (S/CPR)
Ambassador Garin said that he appreciated all of the demands on the President's time and therefore was most grateful that the President had been able to receive him. He then presented to the President an envelope which he said contained a letter from Prime Minister Salazar with regard to the Rhodesian problem, which was causing concern and alarm to Portugal./2/
/2/Salazar's letter, the text of which was transmitted to Lisbon in telegram 573, May 16, declared that Rhodesia was situated in the most developed, progressive, and prosperous part of Africa and warned that if a convulsion were provoked in the region, the West would face a very serious military crisis affecting the defense of the South Atlantic and access to the Indian Ocean. It stated that the Portuguese Government had counseled moderation with the Rhodesians, but only the U.S. Government was in a position to do this successfully with the British. (Ibid., POL 16 RHOD)
The Ambassador said that Portugal had desired to follow a policy of neutrality in connection with Rhodesia and had been ready to accept the British contention that the matter was an internal problem for the UK to resolve. However, the Portuguese Government now found itself involved in the situation more than it had wished. The Security Council resolution against Portugal had been unfair and unjust. Now the SC would be meeting tomorrow to consider a draft resolution prepared by the African countries. This is an extreme resolution which would oblige the Portuguese to stop trade and other relations with Rhodesia and it caused Portugal much concern.
In addition, the Ambassador said, the British Government is now making serious military preparations with a view to military intervention in Rhodesia. A large part of the British fleet is in the Mozambique channel. The port of Beira is under surveillance and there are reports of British troop movements and shipment of heavy equipment from Portsmouth and Southampton. While much of this is based on rumor, the Portuguese have had many reports of this kind, which are most alarming.
If the British decide on intervention in Rhodesia, the Ambassador continued, there are three ways in which this could be carried out. The British troops could come through Zambia, but Kaunda has said that he does not wish this and will not permit his country to be a base of operations against Rhodesia. The British could attempt to come through South Africa, which would cause obvious problems. Lastly, they could come through Mozambique. With its port facilities, railways and pipeline, Mozambique is the ideal way for the invasion of Rhodesia.
The military action could come through a sudden unilateral move by the British or as a result of UN action. If the British attempt to enter Mozambique, the Portuguese would destroy the port facilities, South Africa would become involved, and "there would be a conflagration". The Ambassador thought that the U.S. inevitably would become involved.
For all these reasons, the Ambassador said, the Portuguese hope that the talks now going on between the British and the Rhodesians on Rhodesia will be successful. Prime Minister Salazar is asking the President in his letter to use his influence to this end.
In response, the President said he would be very happy to read the Prime Minister's letter, which would be given careful study. He hoped very much that the situation would not develop in the manner outlined by the Ambassador but that it would be resolved in a peaceful way through negotiations.
536. Message From Prime Minister Wilson to President Johnson/1/
London, May 20, 1966.
/1/Source: Department of State, S/S Files: Lot 67 D 262, Presidential Correspondence, UK/Wilson to Pres. Secret; Nodis.
I should like you to know that we shall be making an announcement at 5:00 P.M. London time today (1:00 P.M. Washington) that the talks between the British and Rhodesian officials will be adjourned to enable both sides to report back to their principals. We shall also announce that the talks will resume shortly but shall not at this stage announce the date or place of resumption. For your own private information the date is likely to be about Whitsun (May 29) and the place Salisbury. If possible at Government House, if not at some neutral place like the University.
The officials have had some nine meetings all told and the general impression we have received is that although the Rhodesians have certainly not come to Canossa and have not abandoned rebellion as a fall back position, they are genuinely looking for a way out and would now like to negotiate the independence they so foolishly seized last November. They have told us that they accept that independence, if granted, must come within the ambit of our six principles. Indeed, they have shown particular interest in our sixth principle, which envisages protection for the European minority after majority rule. This suggests that Smith, at any rate, has accepted the inevitability of African assumption of power and is now looking for adequate safeguards to guarantee the security of Europeans when that day arrives. Another promising line of thought to emerge was the idea that the Westminster type of constitution, with its all or nothing characteristics, may not really be the answer to Rhodesia's practical problems. There might be scope for useful discussion on these lines, for one of the advantages of an alternative system would be to give the Africans some power now, immediately, and to enable the Europeans to retain some power after majority rule.
There are still a lot of hurdles ahead, in particular the question of the return to the rule of law. But I am not unhopeful. We have not abandoned our stand of principle of last November. But our ideas, which then fell on deaf ears, are now finding better receptivity. Sanctions are clearly working, inexorably, if slowly, and Smith will be negotiating against a deteriorating economy.
But our basic aim is reconciliation, not punishment. To secure a just and decent future for all races in Rhodesia must be a major British interest and, I would have thought, a major free world interest too. I am beginning to allow myself to hope that we may be able to bring it off.
537. Letter From President Johnson to Prime Minister Salazar/1/
Washington, June 10, 1966.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Memos to the President, Walt W. Rostow, Vol. 5, 5/26/66-6/29/66.
My dear Mr. Prime Minister:
I was pleased to receive your thoughtful letter of May 11/2/ on the grave problem of peace in southern Africa. Our two countries have enjoyed friendly and fruitful relations since the founding of the United States. We are proud of that history and of our present cooperation in the Atlantic Alliance which we both helped create.
/2/See footnote 2, Document 535.
I have carefully reflected on your views and was particularly gratified to note that we are in agreement on the principle of government by express consent of the governed. If this principle had been genuinely accepted and applied in Southern Rhodesia, we might not be confronted with the dangerous situation of which you have written. Even now, I am confident that prompt application of this principle would lead to peaceful reconciliation of divergent interests and make possible a transition to majority government with adequate protection for all minorities.
Please understand, Mr. Prime Minister, that I do not minimize the difficulties involved in the Rhodesian situation. But I have faith that if all those in authority in southern Africa would strive to create an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect by word and deed, the forces of peace and progress could triumph over those of violence and destruction. I also believe public declarations of intention and concrete evidence of application would enhance, not jeopardize, achievement of this objective.
We have supported the British Government in its efforts peacefully to restore constitutional rule in Rhodesia because we believe that eventual majority rule is essential to the political stability of the area. We have been encouraged by the resumption of talks looking toward a peaceful solution, and we have cautioned against untimely action in the United Nations or elsewhere which would prejudice the successful outcome of these talks.
I was pleased to learn from you that there is a desire in Salisbury that the conversations prove successful and that you have been counselling moderation. With patience and strength and with the support of responsible men everywhere. I am convinced that just and lasting solutions can be found to the problems of southern Africa.
I welcome this opportunity to exchange views with you and will always be pleased to receive your thoughts on subjects of interest to our two countries./3/
/3/In telegram 765 from Lisbon, June 25, Charge Harvey R. Wellman reported that he delivered the President's letter to Salazar on June 24. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD)
/4/Printed from a copy that indicates Johnson signed the original.
538. Memorandum of Conversation/1/
London, June 10, 1966, 10 a.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Secret; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Spiers and approved in S on June 20. The meeting took place at the Prime Minister's residence at 10 Downing Street in London. The source text is marked "Part III of III."
Prime Minister Wilson
Foreign Secretary Stewart
Defense Secretary Healey
Sir Burke Trend
Ronald I. Spiers
The Secretary asked how the Prime Minister saw the situation in Rhodesia now. The Prime Minister said things were going a good deal better. There is now no doubt that the economic sanctions are causing severe problems for Smith. The effects of the credit squeeze have been considerable and unemployment is growing. The result of the last British election, the tobacco boycott and oil embargo have also been setbacks. This was a case of sanctions having real effects in a hundred different ways. Smith, who was a sophisticated economist, should see the situation in its true light. The white emigres to Rhodesia, who had gone there for an easier living, were now finding that things were not so good. The Prime Minister said that, at the end of the day, all of this would force Smith into real negotiation. The hope was that he would break away from the hardliners and form a government of national unity. The British would continue to insist on a return to constitutional rule.
The Prime Minister continued that his own view was that there would be a month or two of very constructive discussions and haggling. The big question, however, was whether Smith would have the courage to break away from the "wild men" or whether he would pursue a "scorched earth" policy, bringing the house down with him. The U.K. thought it would be possible to get a settlement giving independence to a responsible government, with a guarantee of moving to majority rule within a specified period of time. It is not clear, however, that such a settlement would be palatable to Black Africa, even though last November it had appeared ready to stomach it. There has been a weakening of the Africans ability to act cohesively. The OAU cannot even organize itself to meet. Nevertheless, inflammatory speeches continue and may cause trouble.
The Secretary said that he had the impression the Africans may be more interested in words than in facts. This is a truth that the Spaniards had seen and there may be some lesson here applicable to Rhodesia. The Prime Minister thought the situations were not the same. There had been a deep emotional crisis in Africa over the U.K., beginning with Kenya.
Sir Burke Trend said that the CRO would like to get in touch with the U.S. as soon as possible regarding help to Zambia. The Secretary said that flying out 12,000 tons of copper per day was "not on". Trend said that they were thinking of small-scale help in transport, harbor-dredging etc. The Secretary said that he would raise this question with his colleagues when he returned to Washington and let the U.K. know through our Embassy as soon as possible.
539. Memorandum From Secretary of State Rusk to President Johnson/1/
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Rhodesia, Vol. II, Memos and Miscellaneous, 2/66-12/68. Secret.
Discussion of Rhodesia with Prime Minister Wilson/2/
/2/Prime Minister Wilson visited Washington July 28-29 and met with the President on July 29.
1. If Prime Minister Wilson requests US support for a settlement of the Rhodesian problem negotiated with the white minority Smith regime, I recommend that you avoid a commitment pending study of the terms of the agreement./3/
/3/There is no record of any discussion of Rhodesia by the President and Prime Minister Wilson. Memoranda of their conversations on July 29 are in Department of State, Central Files, POL UK-US. A memorandum of remarks by the President concerning his private talks with Wilson, which also excluded Rhodesia, is ibid., POL 15-1 US/Johnson.
2. If Prime Minister Wilson does not raise the Rhodesian problem, I recommend that you ask him to inform you of the kind of settlement the British Government is prepared to accept.
From what we know of the present British position on Rhodesia, it seems likely that (1) the UK is prepared to grant Rhodesia independence under a regime headed by Ian Smith, hence before majority rule is achieved and (2) the grant of independence will not be accompanied by enforceable lasting assurances on a transition to majority rule. We have always been skeptical that the economic sanctions program would succeed in "bringing the rebel regime to an end" as the Prime Minister last November publicly expressed the hope that it would, but we have suggested no alternative lines of action for accomplishing this objective.
Now we are faced with the possibility of serious damage to our relations with African governments if we are closely associated with such a Rhodesian settlement, which would be clearly unpalatable to them. US support for such a settlement would clearly be at variance with the spirit if not the letter of your May 26 remarks to the African ambassadors, which included the statement that we were supporting UK and UN efforts "to restore legitimate government in Rhodesia" because "only when this is accomplished can steps be taken to open the full power and responsibility of nationhood to all the people of Rhodesia--not just six percent of them."
Without regard to the disadvantages for us, there is some question as to whether such a "settlement" would in fact settle the problem. The white minority is probably too small a part of the population to hold out indefinitely if the African majority organizes itself for militant action. There is a considerable risk that, after independence, the white minority would use repressive measures to maintain its position, the Africans would respond with violence, and there would be a breakdown of law and order.
The British would doubtless try to build into any settlement some sort of "guarantees" of progress to ultimate majority rule, but really effective guarantees would be very difficult to achieve. "Inviolate" constitutional provisions can be violated by a determined minority and reliance on international guarantees protecting a constitution would be unrealistic. However, if effective assurances could be devised that are credible to the international community, this should affect our attitude positively.
Suggested Questions To Be Raised:
1. The Prime Minister said in the House of Commons on July 5 that "there would be no purpose in reaching agreement on the constitutional future of Rhodesia if that agreement did not at the same time win for Rhodesia acceptance in international society." How does the British Government intend to ascertain this international acceptability?/4/
/4/The Prime Minister also announced on July 5 that the British-Rhodesian talks in Salisbury were being suspended and that the British participants were returning to London for consultations.
2. Is the British Government prepared to grant Rhodesia independence before majority rule? If so, with what guarantees of progress to majority rule? Will these guarantees be credible and enforceable if the Rhodesian Front is in control of Rhodesia?
3. What does the Prime Minister believe the African reaction will be to a grant of independence to a white minority regime? If adverse, what implication does the UK think this may have for its position in Black Africa?
/5/Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.
540. Memorandum From Halvor O. Ekern of the Operations Staff, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, to the Director of the Office of British Commonwealth and North European Affairs (Shullaw)
Washington, August 24, 1966.
[Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Southern Rhodesia, 1965-1966. Top Secret; Eyes Only. 2 pages of source text not declassified.]
541. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/
Washington, September 8, 1966, 11:27 a.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Dean, cleared by Ball, and approved by Sisco. Repeated to USUN, Salisbury, Capetown, and Lisbon.
42780. Subj: UK Question on Sanctions for Rhodesia.
1. At own request, UK Minister Stewart called on Assistant Secretary Sisco (IO) late Sept 7 with HMG request for US assessment of feasibility of an SC res on Southern Rhodesia which would impose mandatory sanctions on all transit of POL for Rhodesia through Mozambique and forbid importation by UN member states of certain Rhodesian products, possibly including pig iron and chrome ore.
2. As background, Stewart said meeting of UK Cabinet in London yesterday had decided with regard Rhodesia that it would be difficult hold Commonwealth together solely on basis of UK agreement to a Canadian suggestion for a selective ban on Rhodesian exports. Cabinet had decided this step inadequate and they would have to go further but wanted take only minimum action in UN necessary to hold Commonwealth together "without risking UK vital economic interests" or "putting UN on dangerous course." Stewart said Cabinet therefore considering package res which would ban transit of POL for Rhodesia through Mozambique and forbid importation by UN members of pig iron and chrome. Cabinet wished avoid risk of being forced into oil sanctions against South Africa. Stewart said he had been instructed to ask US assessment on chances such package res in SC. Cabinet would consider question tomorrow AM and wished US views by that time if possible.
3. Sisco replied that he would have to report this conversation to Mr. Ball who returning same evening and to Ambassador Goldberg to obtain official US view. Meanwhile, he could only give preliminary observations of purely personal nature. Sisco said effort to limit res to transit POL through Mozambique unlikely to wash in SC, would probably elicit immediate move to broaden res to include SA in light of known fact that South Africa main source oil supply to Rhodesia and Mozambique mainly transit area for POL originating in South Africa. Second, such step would clearly discriminate against Portugal and elicit very strong Portuguese reaction against those who supported it.
4. Leaving aside question of general advisability Chapter VII action this subject, Sisco said sanctions on pig iron might not, to limited extent his information on this subject, cause great economic dislocation for US because our imports Rhodesian pig iron sporadic and infrequent. Chrome was more important issue because high grade chrome ore in short supply on world market and important US companies now dependent on Rhodesian sources. He added important consideration here was that such action taken by itself was highly unlikely impress Commonwealth members or to hold back pressure in SC for extension of measures to cover imports into Rhodesia including POL.
5. Sisco said real question raised by UK query is ultimate UK position on sanctions toward South Africa. If UK decided that oil embargo against South Africa was an ultimate possibility in order meet political demands of maintaining Commonwealth, this would be important factor in overall equation. If on other hand, UK not planning take this decision and considered potential damage arising from it outweighed risk to Commonwealth, it would then appear unwise to take steps in SC on Rhodesia which would at minimum raise African expectations, whatever the tactical advantage. Stewart agreed that this was fundamental problem posed by his instructions. He added that HMG apparently felt it would not be in position veto Chapter VII res on South Africa and wished if possible to avoid being boxed in on this.
6. Dept has reviewed UK proposal. You may inform FonOff that Sisco's remarks represent Dept's assessment. Minister Stewart being informed here. We also reaffirming to him what Ball told Brown in London: we cannot veto res involving South Africa under conditions projected.
542. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/
Washington, September 24, 1966, 11:45 a.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Secret; Exdis. The text was received from the White House and approved by Read of S/S. Repeated to USUN.
53836. Following message received by President from Wilson September 23:
1. I have purposely not troubled you so far with messages about Rhodesia. I know that David Bruce and Pat Dean between them will have kept both you yourself and Dean Rusk well in the picture of recent events and particularly of the exceptionally difficult discussion we had at the Commonwealth Prime Ministers Meeting, as well as the background and reasons for the Commonwealth Secretary's present visit to Rhodesia.
2. But I believe we shall shortly reach a moment of decision in this Rhodesian crisis. As you will have heard, I came under the strongest pressure during the Commonwealth Conference to use force against the Smith regime, to declare categorically and unconditionally that there would be no independence before majority rule and also to move a resolution of comprehensive mandatory sanctions in the Security Council. None of these propositions was acceptable to us, but I had to fight an excessively difficult and at times bitter action against them. In the end, I believe we came out reasonably well. The majority of the Commonwealth tacitly accepted that we could not be expected to use military force; and that it was reasonable that we should have a little more time to give the regime one last chance of coming to its senses. But in return, I had to agree that, if that last chance were not accepted by the regime, we would support limited mandatory sanctions against Rhodesian exports of raw materials and perhaps at a latter stage an extension of the oil embargo to cover all imports via Mozambique. Provided that the Commonwealth supported us at the United Nations in limiting the impact of the sanctions in this way (i.e., so as to avoid, if possible, an overt clash with South Africa), I also agreed that we would then withdraw all previous offers made to Rhodesia and declare that there would be no independence before majority rule.
This was the price we had to pay to buy this additional time for a last showdown with Smith. But it was also necessary if we were to hold the Commonwealth together. And I know that this was an objective that you also strongly desired, given the immense racial tensions in the world and the value of the Commonwealth as a truly multi-racial association in helping to mitigate those tensions. I had broadly two main objectives throughout our Rhodesian discussions: to hold the Commonwealth together and to keep the Rhodesian situation under our own control, so far as possible.
4. There were times when I doubted whether either objective could be attained. As it turned out, we managed to secure both, at least for a limited period of time; and I truly believe that the Commonwealth has emerged stronger rather than weaker from this great test.
5. But time really is now of the essence. The Commonwealth Secretary, whose reports this week show that he is playing a difficult hand with shrewdness and skill, is doing his best to make Smith realize that we and the rest of the Commonwealth mean business and that there really is a limit to our willingness and ability to carry the can internationally for Rhodesia. We believe that the terms we are offering as set out in the Commonwealth communique genuinely represent an honorable way out for Smith. But if he is to accept them, he will almost certainly have to bring himself to ditch his own extremists. And I am bound to say that his talks so far with the Commonwealth Secretary do not encourage us to hope that he will have the guts to do this.
6. But if this rather pessimistic forecast proves right, then we are going to be faced with the need for the measures agreed at the Common- wealth Prime Ministers Conference. I hope that initially we can agree in the Security Council on limited sanctions and that this will not therefore involve us immediately in a clash with South Africa. But we can certainly not be sure of this: and in any case a decision to move to further mandatory sanctions of this type may well hasten the day when a clash with South Africa becomes inevitable. This is something which is, I believe, equally repugnant to you and to us. The consequences (as I explained to the Africans at the Commonwealth Conference and as many of them in their heart of hearts fully recognize) are incalculable. They could in the longer run lead to armed conflict with the South Africans and would certainly produce economic warfare, the effect of which, for both our countries in particular but also I believe for Western economic interests generally, would be excessively damaging. But equally I feel bound to repeat the warning that George Brown gave George Ball during the latter's recent visit here to the effect that we must not be counted on to incur the immense international odium that would result from a British veto in the Security Council on any measures bound to result in conflict with South Africa. This is a case where I think you and we would have to stand or fall together; which is why I am addressing you now in the hope that, by judicious action before the moment of decision arrives, you may be able to help us avert the dangers I have just outlined.
7. It is difficult, and indeed inappropriate, for me to suggest what it might be possible for you to do to help us at this juncture. If you felt that it would be productive, I should welcome any action by the U.S. Government that you might think appropriate, designed to bring Smith to his senses and get him to accept that we all of us mean business, and that there is nothing but isolation and disaster at the end of the road for Rhodesia unless he is now prepared to reach an agreement on the basis of this last offer of ours, even if this has to be at the price of breaking with some of his associates.
8. I also believe that South Africa's influence on Smith is potentially of the greatest importance. If you saw any prospect of being able to induce the South African Government to bring pressure on Smith for a settlement, in their own best interests, this might well be the most useful of all. In addition, of course we hope that, if we are forced before the end of the year to work for limited mandatory sanctions at the United Nations, we shall be able to count on your help with other countries designed to keep the sanctions limited. We have made it clear that we shall only work for these sanctions provided we have full support from the Commonwealth for keeping them limited. We mean to stick to this. But equally we must expect that at least the Zambians and a number of other Afro-Asians will press for a great deal more. However, what we really want, if at all possible, is to induce Smith to come to terms.
9. I am sorry to worry you with our troubles when you have quite enough of your own. But I feel justified in doing this because, as I say, I think these are really our joint troubles; and if there is anything you feel you can usefully do now, we may be able to avoid finding ourselves jointly in a much more difficult situation which may confront us within the coming months, particularly at the United Nations and in what may follow from the debates there. End Text.
543. Memorandum of Conversation/1/
Washington, October 14, 1966.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Goldstein, and approved in S on October 28. The source text is marked "Part 4 of 7."
George Brown, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Sir Patrick Dean, British Ambassador
Sir Michael Stewart, British Minister
Lord Hood, Deputy Under-Secretary of State, Foreign Office
Denis A. Greenhill, Assistant Under-Secretary of State, Foreign Office
Dean Rusk, Secretary of State
Eugene Rostow, Under Secretary-designate for Political Affairs
John M. Leddy, Assistant Secretary for European Affairs
David K.E. Bruce, Ambassador to the United Kingdom
Francis Bator, Special Assistant to the President
M.D. Goldstein, Acting Country Director, EUR/BMI
With regard to Rhodesia, Secretary Rusk thanked the Foreign Secretary for keeping the US Government so well informed. The Foreign Secretary said that the results obtained at the recent Commonwealth Conference were the best that Britain could have achieved in the circumstances. The Commonwealth, he thought, will hold together on the Rhodesia problem at least until the deadline (end of November) for the acceptance of a settlement by Smith, unless the Africans take fright. An awkward moment is coming up. Sir Morrice James is returning to Salisbury with the latest word from the British Cabinet; his discussions there could be misunderstood by the Africans.
The Foreign Secretary went on to say that, if Smith rejects the British proposals, the UK will have to join in a UN resolution to apply mandatory selective sanctions to Southern Rhodesia. The situation in the UN at that time can be delicate, and the UK and the US will have to work closely together. The Foreign Secretary hoped that, as agreed at the Commonwealth Conference, the African countries would stay with the UK in seeking a resolution for selective sanctions only. Denis Greenhill said that a draft of such a resolution had already been prepared on a contingency basis and will be discussed soon with US officials.
In reply to a question from Secretary Rusk, the Foreign Secretary said that the felt certain that tobacco was not being exported from Rhodesia in important amounts; he also felt confident that foreign dealers were not buying Rhodesian tobacco and leaving it in Rhodesia for storage.
Secretary Rusk noted that, had we put our Rhodesian policy before Congress three or four months ago, it would have been defeated, partly because of the views of members from the Southern states and partly because of the movement of British flag ships to North Vietnam. He thought, however, the situation was much better today and thanked the Foreign Secretary for what had been done to reduce the number of calls by British flag ships at North Vietnamese ports.
The Foreign Secretary said that he did not think economic sanctions had significantly hurt or helped Smith within Rhodesia. He was convinced that Smith was the one man who could lead Rhodesia either to continue in its illegal position or to accept a settlement with the British. Secretary Rusk reaffirmed that the US does not wish to step out ahead of the Commonwealth in dealing with the problem.
The Foreign Secretary expressed concern at the movement of Rhodesian chrome to the United States. It was pointed out to him that the chrome was moving from Mozambique to which it had been shipped by an American producer in Rhodesia.
In a brief discussion of Zambia, the Foreign Secretary requested that we try to have a calming talk with President Kaunda when he comes here. Sir Michael Stewart mentioned that Zambia seemed to be moving toward accepting the British aid package of 14 million pounds.
The Foreign Secretary said that the US must not rely on the British to veto alone a UN resolution calling for economic measures against South Africa. The British Government has not made a decision on what it would do. Secretary Rusk said that the US has not reached a decision either. In responding to a question, the Foreign Secretary said that he thought the French would play a mischievous role if a resolution against South Africa became a current issue.
In a brief reference to South West Africa, Mr. Greenhill said he would not preclude the possibility of having to face a vote on the original resolution introduced into the UN by the African states and others. There is, however, a good chance of obtaining an acceptable outcome since the small countries dearly want an affirmative vote from the US and the UK on some kind of resolution dealing with South West Africa
544. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/
Washington, October 18, 1966, 6:59 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files , POL 16 RHOD. Secret; Nodis. Drafted at the White House and approved by John P. Walsh of S/S.
68392. For Ambassador. Following message was sent today by private channel to Prime Minister from President Johnson:
"In reply to your good message on Rhodesia,/2/ let me begin by saying that I greatly admired the way you handled the Commonwealth Conference. You were certainly right to concentrate on holding the group together and retaining control of the Rhodesian situation. As you say, the Commonwealth is very important to all of us--the more so as racial problems multiply.
/2/See Document 542.
If Smith throws away his last chance, you may depend on our full support for the moves spelled out in your letter. Specifically, we will support your withdrawal of all previous offers to Smith, your adoption of a position of no independence before majority rule, and your proposal of limited mandatory economic sanctions in the Security Council.
I know you are aware that there will be strong pressures to broaden the sanctions and to apply them to South Africa. My people--both at the State Department and in New York--seriously doubt that there will be support in the Council for limiting the scope of export sanctions or for restricting to Mozambique any subsequent oil embargo. They believe that the drive to enlarge the target to include South Africa is likely to be overwhelming. Nevertheless, I fully appreciate your problems with a UK veto of such an enlargement.
I do not think that we can help through direct contact with Smith. If you believe it would be useful to have a go at Vorster, I am willing to have my Ambassador reiterate our firm support for your policy and for UN resolutions designed to end the Smith regime. He would try to persuade them that their own interests dictate that they comply with the present voluntary sanctions. He would also point out that the Security Council is likely to impose mandatory sanctions against Rhodesia, and that South African refusal to comply would lead to pressures to extend them to South Africa which would be difficult for us to resist. Perhaps your people in Pretoria could make a similar approach.
In any event, I would suggest that we use the time you have gained to discuss the problems presented if you are forced to give effect to your conference commitments, as well as the contingencies which could arise if things go badly in New York. If you agree, I will get my people in touch with yours.
I want you to know that I think you have been a great force for good in this matter. I know it is a heavy cross, but you are doing Africa and the world a great service."
545. Telegram From the Department of State to Secretary of State Rusk in Manila/1/
Washington, October 20, 1966, 6:32 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Secret; Nodis. Drafted and approved by John P. Walsh of S/S. Repeated to London for the Ambassador. Secretary Rusk was in the Philippines October 21-27 for the Manila summit conference on Vietnam, October 24-25.
70145. Tosec 4. 1. Following message from Prime Minister Wilson to the President was received this morning via private channel:
"Many thanks indeed for your very helpful message on Rhodesia./2/ We are truly grateful for your promise of support if Smith throws away his last chance.
/2/See Document 544.
We of course share to some extent the apprehensions of your people, both in Washington and in New York, about the likely difficulties of trying to limit the scope of export sanctions or restricting any oil embargo to Mozambique. But such indications as we have had from Commonwealth Heads of Government are that they will do their best to honour their part of the conference bargain. We shall just have to work hard to achieve the desired result: and this is why your promise of support is of such real practical value to us.
I fully accept what you say about the difficulty of your helping through direct contact with Smith. But I warmly welcome your offer to have a go at Vorster. I believe this could be very helpful, especially if it can be done soon. Without being too sanguine about the likelihood of the South Africans pressing Smith really hard to accept this last chance, I think there is at least a worthwhile prospect of their doing so. George Brown worked on the South African Ambassador here as a preliminary to meeting Muller in New York: and, at that meeting, Muller undertook to think over very carefully what George had said and, for the first time in our dealings with him, he appeared seriously to contemplate the possibility of using South African influence. Accordingly, when he got back here, George sent a further message to Muller, confirming what he had told him of the terms we have now put to Smith and warning him that, as Smith was on the brink of a decision, any South African action would have to be immediate to affect it. We do not, of course, know whether the South Africans have yet taken any action but I shall be very grateful if you will, as you suggest, now instruct your Ambassador in Pretoria to act on the lines you propose./3/ This will most usefully reinforce our own approach to Muller. Moreover, the timing should be just right. Smith yesterday gave our emissary in Salisbury his oral reply. As we expected, it temporises. Smith promises us a written reply within the next week or so. His oral reaction has been essentially negative: But I still think there may be an outside chance of getting somewhere with him before our end-November deadline: and, perhaps more important, before the November 11th Anniversary of I.D.I. If the South Africans can be induced to weigh in constructively while he and his colleagues are still deliberating, this might yet tip the scales.
/3/Telegram 71381 to Pretoria, October 21, instructed Ambassador Rountree to make U.S. views known orally to Prime Minister Vorster and to leave an aide-memoire expressing firm U.S. support for British policy on Rhodesia. (Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD) In telegram 529 from Capetown, October 24, Rountree reported that he met with Vorster for 75 minutes that day and gave him the aide-memoire. (Ibid.)
Meanwhile, however, we clearly have to prepare for the worst: and I am sure it is right, as you suggest, that our people should get together to consider the contingencies.
I am not quite sure at what point this will reach you in your present travels. But it brings you my warmest wishes for a profitable outcome. George has given me a heart-warming account of his reception in Washington and especially from yourself. Clearly there can be no room for excessive optimism about current trends in Soviet attitudes. But it seems as though there may be at least a chink of light at the end of the tunnel."
2. White House relaying Canberra./4/
/4/President Johnson was in Australia October 20-23 for a State visit preceding the Manila conference.
546. Memorandum of Conversation/1/
Washington, November 16, 1966, 5:30 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Secret. Drafted by Goldstein, and approved in S on November 21. The source text is marked "Part 1 of 3." The meeting took place in the Secretary's office.
Sir Patrick Dean, British Ambassador
Sir Michael Stewart, Minister, British Embassy
M.D. Goldstein, Acting Country Director, BMI
Ambassador Dean said that he was instructed to hand to the Secretary the text of Smith's reply to the British Government's proposals for settlement of the Rhodesian question. He observed that the reply seemed basically designed for publication. It amounted to a rejection of the British proposals, though it did not explicitly say so.
The British Government expected to have to take the Rhodesia question to the UN. Before doing so, however, the Government has asked Smith to state his position on (1) providing guarantees for uninterrupted progress to majority rule; (2) participation in an interim broad-based Rhodesian government before promulgation of a new constitution, the acceptability of which would remain to be determined by Rhodesians as a whole; and (3) reversion to the Governor of control over the military, the lifting of censorship, and the release of political detainees.
The Ambassador said that Sir Malcolm McDonald was explaining to Uganda, Nigeria, and Kenya what the British Government was doing, and Lord Caradon had talked to President Kaunda along the same lines.
The Secretary, referring to his own conversations with Kaunda, noted that Kaunda did not say as much then as he did in his speech at the UN: their talk was quite relaxed and Kaunda used no invective or florid language in expounding his unhappiness with the British. In almost an hour's discussion he spent perhaps ten minutes on Rhodesia. Kaunda was very much concerned that the passage of time was allowing for the consolidation of the Smith regime.
The Secretary went on to say that Kaunda stressed that sanctions against Rhodesia could not succeed without the cooperation of South Africa. When Kaunda raised the question of using force in Rhodesia, the Secretary expressed strong reservations--he noted that the situation could require two divisions--and Kaunda did not argue the point very much. Kaunda pointed out that 600-700 people had signed the Governor's book in Salisbury and that, while this was not a large number in itself, in the circumstances it probably reflected a considerable body of anti-Smith sentiment in Rhodesia.
The Secretary concluded by recalling that Kaunda did not ask for anything specific from the United States. He seemed to be waiting for the present British schedule to run out.
547. Telegram From Prime Minister Wilson to President Johnson/1/
Washington, November 29, 1966, 2030Z.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 19 RHOD. Top Secret and Strictly Personal; Nodis. The source text does not indicate how the telegram was sent. An attached note from Read to Palmer, Sisco, and Leddy states that, because of the unusual caveat at the beginning of the Prime Minister's message, it was uncertain if the U.K. negotiators in Washington knew of the information. Read's note cautioned the recipients not to indicate any knowledge of the message to the British. The text of the message was transmitted to the Embassy in London in telegram 93323, November 29. (Ibid., POL 16 RHOD)
I want you to know, for the strictly personal information of yourself and Dean Rusk at this stage, that I hope to be able to tell the House of Commons tomorrow that the Commonwealth Secretary and I will be meeting Ian Smith later this week. If he agrees to this, it will be a final showdown between us. Our prolonged probings of his position, culminating in Bowden's visit this last weekend, coupled with Smith's developing realisation of the pressures building up on him--our Commonwealth undertakings, the threatened UN action, South African representations to him (and I am confident Vorster has done this) and even signs of possible division within the Rhodesia front--all these things have, I believe, at last brought him to recognise that he stands now at the brink. And, as he gazes at the abyss ahead, I believe too that he is, perhaps for the first time since November of last year, seriously thinking that he must come to terms with us, because he understands how much worse for him and for Rhodesia any alternative course would be.
This, at all events, is the conclusion that my colleagues and I have drawn from the attitude he took last weekend with the Commonwealth Secretary. I need not trouble you with the details. He has not come all the way to meet us--far from it. The gulf is still wide between us. And, if it is to be bridged, the initiative must come from him. We shall stand firm on our six principles, on a return to legality and on guarantees both against any fresh IDI and on unimpeded advance to African majority rule. But Smith has said enough to make it clear to me that I could not justify, to my country or my conscience, a break with him now and the implementation of paragraph 10 of the communique, with all the consequences that would flow for Rhodesia, for Britain and for the world as a whole, without one last personal effort to bring this narrow, obstinate, but not, I think, fundamentally dishonorable man to face up to the realities. If I fail, that will be that, and we shall go ahead as undertaken at the Commonwealth Conference. If I succeed, this will, I know, be only the beginning of many further difficulties--with the African Commonwealth, at the United Nations--and with some of our own supporters here. But there will be no agreement with Smith that does not meet our stated requirements and that I can not therefore with honour defend to Parliament. So I am prepared to face up to these difficulties and see them through, as the inevitable but acceptable price of a favourable settlement.
I do not want to make this message any longer. But you have given us such staunch support throughout this Rhodesian business, and despite the misgivings that I know many of your people have felt, that I wanted you to have this advance warning of our plans. Joe Garner can fill in the State Department on some of the background. And I shall of course keep you posted of progress--if any. This is a very crucial moment. But we are going into it with clear heads and no illusions. If I was a betting man, I should wager against a settlement. But the odds are not so steep that the gamble is not worth taking: and the stakes, for all of us, are high./2/
/2/Telegram 93835 to London, November 30, transmitted a message from Wilson to the President stating that he had not yet been able to announce the proposed meeting because Smith had asked for extra time to consult his colleagues. The Prime Minister noted, however, that Smith had now confirmed his willingness to come, and that their meeting later that week seemed likely to be delayed by only a few hours. (Ibid., POL 16 RHOD)
548. Memorandum of Conversation/1/
Washington, December 1, 1966, 10 a.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Confidential. Drafted by Holmes, cleared by Fredericks and Sisco, and approved in U on December 5. The meeting took place in the Secretary's office.
Sir Saville Garner, Permanent Under Secretary, Commonwealth Office
Sir Patrick Dean, British Ambassador
Nicholas deB Katzenbach, Under Secretary
Joseph Palmer 2nd, Assistant Secretary, AF
Joseph J. Sisco, Assistant Secretary, IO
J. Wayne Fredericks, Deputy Assistant Secretary, AF
Donald R. Morris, Special Assistant, Under Secretary's Office
Edward W. Holmes, Alternate Country Director, AFSE
Sir Saville Garner stated that broad agreement had been reached by the two sides in yesterday's talks on Rhodesia./2/ There had been a difference regarding the tactics to be employed with respect to oil sanctions, but no differences on the broad objectives to be achieved. Both sides wished to avoid escalation of the matter toward economic warfare with South Africa. The British now had to ponder two questions: (1) Should HMG support an amendment to their resolution calling for broad oil sanctions? (2) Should the UK make a statement regarding its strong desire to avoid confrontation with South Africa at the time the amendment was discussed in the Security Council? It is clear that South Africa is worried; presumably we should do nothing to relieve this worry. South Africa is the key to the Rhodesian problem.
/2/U.S.-British talks on Rhodesia were held in Washington November 30-December 1.
The Under Secretary said that probably no outcome would be totally satisfactory. We must all play our cards carefully to bring about the best possible solution.
In reply to the Under Secretary's question, Sir Saville stated that the next Commonwealth meeting would probably be held in March or April of next year. He recalled the communique's provisions for another meeting. If, however, a settlement were to be reached with Smith, pressures for a meeting would undoubtedly rise and it would presumably be held fairly soon.
Sir Saville emphasized that he could not comment on the chance of a settlement. He recalled that the Prime Minister carefully refrained from committing himself on this aspect in his message to the President./3/ It is clear there has been some recent shift in Smith's position. Smith has now agreed at least to consider a return to the 1961 Constitution and to give up independence. Nevertheless, he had by no means agreed to go nearly as far as the UK had wanted. The Rhodesian Prime Minister would still be responsible to the present parliament whereas the British had wanted the parliament to be dissolved. It is likely that the effect of sanctions and the influence of business and financial circles in Rhodesia had prompted Smith to move somewhat.
The Under Secretary remarked that Smith would likely have moved in due course even without sanctions. His policy was so completely against the world trend of events that he could not have maintained it indefinitely.
In discussing the general situation, Sir Saville remarked on the striking lack of public opposition to the Smith regime by Africans in Rhodesia. They had been amazingly quiescent. The Under Secretary remarked that perhaps the Africans had been hoping the situation would be resolved in other ways. If no solution were to be reached, they might in time be driven to take action themselves. He wondered how Africans in Rhodesia must feel at seeing their fate decided by white Rhodesians and white Britons in consultation with white Americans.
Mr. Fredericks pointed to the efficient Rhodesian security force and its willingness to operate in ways unlike those employed by the British in the colonies in the past. Mr. Palmer remarked that the history of the Mashonas gave no particular expectation of strong action by them.
Sir Saville declared that if a settlement with Smith were to be announced in the next few days, it would jolt most Africans. He would expect an extremely critical reaction. Much would depend on how a settlement were explained and handled. In view of the very complicated nature of likely constitutional arrangements, it would be extremely difficult to explain them to the ordinary man.
The Under Secretary agreed that it would be very difficult to sell a settlement, even if the agreement to be obtained were better than now seems likely. In his view it would be better to emphasize the conclusions of a settlement rather than the specific details. Mr. Fredericks pointed out that in view of South Africa's history with entrenched clauses in a constitution, it would be very difficult to obtain favorable African reaction to a settlement with Smith.
Sir Saville agreed, stating that once independence is granted to a country, there is really nothing outsiders could do to control its subsequent actions. That is why the UK had wanted a British force in Rhodesia following any settlement. Any paper guarantees could be changed.
In reply to a question, Sir Saville stated his belief that if Smith and Governor Gibbs made a joint appeal they would get the backing both of the Rhodesian armed services and the majority of the people. He believed that the vast bulk of Rhodesians would breathe a sigh of relief if an agreement with the UK were to be achieved.
In conclusion, the Under Secretary and Sir Saville agreed that we must all wait to see what would happen with regard to the Rhodesian problem in the next few days.
549. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/
Washington, December 4, 1966, 2:55 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Drafted at the White House, and approved by Larry C. Williamson of S/S. Repeated to Pretoria.
96316. For Ambassador. Following message from Prime Minister Wilson was delivered today to President and is sent to you FYI:
I write this to you in the plane on my way back from one more of these strangely tantalizing and--yet again--ultimately disappointing meetings with Smith. I say tantalizing because, after two days (and nights) of argument, discussion and very plain speaking, it seemed by yesterday evening that an honourable agreement was at last within our grasp.
I need not trouble you with details. We discussed the three main issues--indissolubly related in our minds: to be dissociated so far as possible in his: the independence constitution: the prior return to legality and the formation of the interim government: and the essential external guarantees of the eventual settlement. By late yesterday we had hammered out a document which gave Smith a better deal in all three respects than he conceivably deserves: and on which my two colleagues and I had to reflect very carefully before we decided that this was something we could with honour recommend to Parliament. On the text itself, argued over line by line, paragraph by paragraph, there seemed in the end to be agreement between us.
Why then have we had to make the indecisive short statement today which will have been shown to you? The answer I am afraid, is that we are dealing with a very devious and schizophrenic personality. Smith agreed to meet us on the absolutely clear understanding, to which he specifically assented that each of us came with full powers from our respective colleagues to settle. But on Friday/2/ he recanted on this and insisted that he could not go further than agree with us a text which he would recommend to his colleagues as acceptable. By Saturday evening we had such a text. But then he recanted again: he would go no further than take it back and think over whether or not to recommend its acceptance.
This was intolerable. But we were so resolved that the chance of a settlement should not slip through our fingers through any fault of ours that we have, as you see, given till noon tomorrow to give us a plain yes or no to the document, without any modification whatever. I think there is still an outside chance that he, or some of his colleagues will come to their senses. Before he left late last night, I spoke to him in rougher and more brutal terms than ever before of the appalling dangers for himself, for Rhodesia and for the whole of Southern Africa which were bound to be the consequence of a refusal. I may have shaken him (I certainly shook his colleagues). But what still sticks in his gullet as he put it, is the idea that he must return to legality before there can be the test of Rhodesian opinion in the new constitution.
If he could not remove this bone on board the Tiger, I doubt if he will in Salisbury. At all events, by noon tomorrow the die will be cast, one way or the other. If, by then, he has not said yes to our text, we shall go straight ahead with the programme of action we promised to the Commonwealth in September. Garner has reported on the extremely helpful and thorough talks which he had with your people last week. I am sure that we must continue to act in the closest concert as we go forward to this next stage, fraught as it is with so many difficulties and I am glad to know that there is such close understanding between us.
It is clear to us from our exchange with the South African Government that they have been leaning pretty heavily on Smith to reach a settlement. We have informed them of the content of the text we worked out with Smith, in the hope that even at this eleventh hour they may be able to exert some further pressure. I hope you may be willing to consider most urgently whether, by saying anything to them today, you too might help persuade them to try their hand again in Salisbury before noon tomorrow.
/3/On December 6, Prime Minister Wilson announced to the House of Commons that the Rhodesians had rejected the working document signed by Smith on December 3, leaving the United Kingdom no option but to appeal in the United Nations for the invocation of selective mandatory sanctions against the illegal Smith regime.
550. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in South Africa/1/
Washington, December 4, 1966, 1:58 p.m.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Secret; Flash; Nodis. Drafted by McElhiney, cleared by Read, and approved by Rusk. Repeated to London and to the White House.
96312. Deliver following message from Secretary to Muller immediately, stressing that it is strictly confidential and personal, not for publication.
"Prime Minister Wilson has informed President Johnson that he has worked out with Mr. Ian Smith a tentative formula for the settlement of the Rhodesian issue./2/ Mr. Smith is now considering whether to recommend its acceptance to his colleagues in Salisbury. The point of difficulty for Mr. Smith appears to be that he must return to legality before there can be a test of Rhodesian opinion in the new constitution.
/2/See Document 549.
"While we have not seen the text of the formula, I understand that it conforms with the Six Principles and the requirements set forth in the September Commonwealth Conference communique. I understand you have been informed of the contents.
"If this is the fair and equitable settlement it appears to be, I believe that the interests of all of us lie in Mr. Smith's accepting it. If you agree, I would urge you to try to convince him of the wisdom of reaching agreement with the British. The matter is one of considerable urgency, since the British Government has been compelled by its commitments to the rest of the Commonwealth to require Mr. Smith's reply by noon Monday. I understand you have been helpful in the past and I sincerely hope you will once again be willing to bring your influence to bear at this crucial moment."
For London: Text of Wilson letter in separate cable. You may inform appropriate FonOff officials of Secretary's message to Muller.
551. Intelligence Memorandum/1/
Washington, December 9, 1966.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Rhodesia, Vol. II, Memos and Miscellaneous, 2/66-12/68. Secret; No Foreign Dissem/Background Use Only. A note on the source text states that the memorandum was produced solely by the Central Intelligence Agency. It was prepared in the Office of Current Intelligence and coordinated with the Office of Research and Reports and the Office of National Estimates.
THE RHODESIAN PROBLEM AFTER THE
FAILURE OF THE SMITH-WILSON TALKS
Prime Ministers Wilson and Smith claim to have agreed on a constitutional settlement for Rhodesia, but they split over who should have effective power within the country during the period of British sovereignty before the granting of independence. London now is asking the UN Security Council to impose selective sanctions on Rhodesian exports. It is trying to come to terms with African demands that sanctions on oil import into Rhodesia also be covered--a move which Britain fears might make it harder to avoid a confrontation with South Africa.
Whatever resolution the UN adopts is unlikely to have much effect on Rhodesia's economy. It is also unlikely to satisfy African governments, but most of these will probably continue to put priority on their domestic problems. There may be further efforts to end the dispute outside the UN, perhaps including further negotiations between Salisbury and London.
[Here follows the body of the paper.]
552. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (Popper) to the Ambassador at Large (Harriman)/1/
Washington, December 13, 1966.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Confidential.
Significant Developments During Your Absence--November 29-December 13
1. Southern Rhodesia
Following the failure of negotiations with the Smith regime in a last-minute attempt to reach a settlement of the Rhodesian problem, the UK introduced a draft resolution in the Security Council on December 8 calling for the application of selective mandatory sanctions against Rhodesia. Ambassador Goldberg spoke in support of the resolution on December 12.
On behalf of the African nations, Uganda, Nigeria and Mali submitted to the Council on December 13 proposals to amend the British resolution to include a comprehensive oil embargo, sanctions on Rhodesian coal and manufactured goods, and a reminder that "appropriate action" would be taken against violators of mandatory sanctions. The African amendments would also call on the UK to declare categorically that it would not grant independence to Rhodesia until majority rule was achieved, determine that the situation in Rhodesia constitutes a threat to peace, and deplore Britain's refusal to use force to end the rebellion.
Consultations between the U.K. and African states on these amendments are now going on. The British have indicated they will not oppose the oil provision, but they find most of the other amendments unacceptable and hope to muster enough abstentions to block their adoption. We expect the Assembly to approve a resolution imposing selective mandatory sanctions (including oil) on Rhodesia before the end of this week./2/
/2/On December 16, by a vote of 11 (including the United States and the United Kingdom) to 0 with 4 abstentions, the U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution imposing certain mandatory economic sanctions upon Rhodesia, including a comprehensive embargo on the supply of oil and oil products. For text of Resolution 232 (1966), see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1966, pp. 608-610.
[Here follows discussion of unrelated topics.]
553. Paper Prepared in the Department of State/1/
Washington, January 23, 1967.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, White House Central Files, Confidential File, CO 250, Rhodesia-Nyasaland, Federation of. Secret. No drafting information appears on the source text, but a covering memorandum from Executive Secretary Bromley Smith to the National Security Council refers to it as a State Department paper for consideration at the January 25 NSC meeting.
1. Since 1923 Southern Rhodesia has been an internally self-governing colony with a high degree of autonomy. A new constitution granted by Great Britain and approved by a predominately European electorate in 1961 removed most of the few remaining legal controls held by the United Kingdom. This constitution was abrogated on November 11, 1965 when Ian Smith unilaterally broke with the British Crown.
2. The colony's estimated population of 4,350,000 is composed of about 4,105,000 Africans, 224,000 Europeans (white), and 21,000 of other ethnic groups--or a ratio of almost 20 Africans to 1 European. The whites are largely British or South African in origin.
3. The significant features added by the 1961 constitution were a bill of rights and the introduction of a second electoral roll with lower franchise qualifications, permitting a limited number of Africans to qualify. The African leaders refused to cooperate in implementing the constitution, which they considered a device to perpetuate minority rule, and few Africans registered to vote.
4. The European electorate showed little desire to accept African demands and progressively replaced their more moderate party leaders. In April 1964 Winston Field, a Rhodesian Front Prime Minister, was replaced by his deputy, Ian Smith, when Field failed to move rapidly enough for the more authoritarian elements in his party in independence negotiations with the British. The replacement of Field by Smith was a continuation of the trend evident since the 1950's when each Prime Minister was more right-wing than his predecessor. On November 11, 1965, after nearly 2 years of unsuccessful negotiations with the British Government, Ian Smith illegally and unilaterally declared the territory independent from the United Kingdom and proclaimed a new constitution.
5. The British still appear willing to grant the colony its independence under conditions which provide for majority rule coupled with guarantees of minority rights.
6. The six principles set forth by the British in the talks provide for unimpeded progress toward majority rule within a constitutional framework acceptable to the Rhodesian people.
7. The United States and other nations have accepted the British Government's position that Southern Rhodesia is a British colony. We continue to recognize the sovereignty and legal authority of the United Kingdom in Southern Rhodesia. No country in the world has recognized Southern Rhodesia's declaration of independence.
8. Soon after the unilateral declaration of independence on November 11, 1965, the British, by a vote of 10-0-1 (France), won approval in the Security Council for a measured policy of economic sanctions against the regime. The voluntary sanctions program has caused some deteriorations in the Rhodesian economy, although there has been serious circumvention throughout South Africa and Portuguese Mozambique. The Rhodesian economy continued to function reasonably well and the Smith regime remained in firm political control. The British began in April 1966 another series of exploratory talks with the Smith regime at the official level aimed at finding a basis for negotiations.
9. Prior to the Commonwealth Conference in London (September 6-15), rumors of an impending UK "sell-out" to Smith were widespread. Zambia threatened to leave the Commonwealth if British policy toward Rhodesia was approved by a majority of the members. The conference communique reflected the wide divergence of opinion within the Commonwealth over British policy on Rhodesia. The UK received general support from only four countries, i.e., Australia, New Zealand, Malta and Malawi, with Canada playing the role of mediator. The other 16 called in varying degrees for more positive action by the British to bring down the Smith regime. (Tanzania did not attend.) The communique did record, nevertheless, the UK's intention to put proposals to the Rhodesians designed to give the illegal regime one last chance to return to constitutional rule before the end of the year. If these proposals were not accepted, the communique noted that the British Government would jointly sponsor mandatory sanctions in the UN prohibiting the import by member states of selected Rhodesian products.
10. A meeting took place between Wilson and Smith aboard HMS Tiger December 2-4. There, the two sides drafted a "working document" to be submitted to the British and Rhodesian Cabinets. The British Cabinet announced its approval of the document shortly after Wilson's return to London. The Smith regime, however, stated on December 5 that it was prepared to agree to Wilson's constitutional proposals but that it had to reject the Tiger proposals as a whole because it could not accept a return to legality (i.e., rule by the Governor for an interim period of about four months). Thereafter, Wilson went to Parliament and reaffirmed the British commitment in the Commonwealth communique not to grant independence before majority rule. Under the terms of the "working document," independence would have preceded majority rule.
11. UK Foreign Minister Brown on December 8 submitted a resolution to the UNSC calling for mandatory economic sanctions on selected Rhodesian products. On December 16, 1966 a resolution (No. 232) was adopted by the Security Council imposing selective mandatory economic sanctions against Southern Rhodesia.
US Interests and Objectives
12. A number of important US interests are involved. We want to maintain our political influence in Black Africa and help to create conditions conducive to stability and progress. Continued lack of movement toward a Rhodesian solution could be exploited by extreme African elements, as well as by the Communists, to our disadvantage. Our goals are to avoid a racist war in Southern Rhodesia and serious deterioration in race relations elsewhere in Africa (particularly Zambia). We are trying also to prevent closer political and economic cooperation among the white-dominated countries of southern Africa. We share the British view that a phased movement toward majority rule in Rhodesia is the best way to achieve our aims.
Interests and Objectives of the UK
13. The basic issue between the British Government and the Rhodesian regime has been the timing of independence in relation to majority rule. The British have been willing to grant independence before majority rule, but only if unimpeded progress toward majority rule were assured. The Africans and other members of the United Nations have urged the UK to allow independence only after the establishment of majority rule.
14. The UK initially supported a voluntary sanctions program (adopted by the UN Security Council in November, 1965) and subsequently backed the mandatory economic sanctions resolution against Southern Rhodesia in the hope that such pressure on the Smith regime would bring about a settlement of the problem based on the six principles. The British are most reluctant to see sanctions extended to South Africa, from which Rhodesia has been buying most of its petroleum products. Such economic warfare with the South Africans could gravely affect the British balance of payments.
15. The British Government has ruled out the use of force in the belief that (1) this would lead to open warfare; (2) public opinion in the UK would not accept such a course; (3) South Africa might intervene; and (4) it would be a big operation necessitating the moving of UK forces from Germany or the Far East.
US Strategy and Past Actions
16. On the same day that the Smith regime declared its independence from the United Kingdom, we announced the recall of our Consul General in Salisbury and the closing of the US Information Office in Rhodesia. The US Government at present maintains a small housekeeping consular staff in Salisbury by virtue of authority granted by the UK.
17. Following the UNSC resolution in November 1965 calling for voluntary economic sanctions in Southern Rhodesia the US Government urged US companies importing various Rhodesian products into the United States to find alternate sources of supply. We later imposed controls on exports to Rhodesia from the United States.
18. On April 9, 1966 the UN Security Council adopted a resolution noting its concern that substantial oil supplies might reach Rhodesia and result in a "threat to the peace" by encouraging the illegal regime. When it became apparent to the British Government that the voluntary sanctions program was not having the desired effect, we were asked to support a UK request in the UN Security Council for a resolution calling for mandatory economic sanctions against Southern Rhodesia. We agreed and, following the collapse of the HMS Tiger talks, the British introduced their resolution. On December 16 UNSC resolution No. 232 was adopted (11 (US)-0-4 (USSR, France, Mali and Bulgaria)) imposing selective mandatory sanctions against Southern Rhodesia. The list of embargoed items covers some 80 percent of Rhodesian exports. On January 5, 1967 Executive Order No. 11322 was issued prohibiting activities by any person subject to the jurisdiction of the United States that are proscribed by the resolution.
19. The UK continues to have primary responsibility for the situation. The US Government must, nevertheless, maintain close touch with the British as the sanctions program evolves. We must do whatever we can to provide the British with maximum leverage to use with Rhodesian regime to reach an acceptable settlement. However, the US Government must avoid any action vis-a-vis the British which might be interpreted as pressure on our part to make further concessions to Smith.
20. We should hold frank discussions with the British on the special problem posed by the attitudes of Portugal and South Africa in complying with the sanctions resolution. The British should approach both Portugal and South Africa to convince these two countries that their own long-range interests will best be served by compliance with the Security Council's decision. As a follow-up, the US should make similar approaches. The above approaches should not foreclose the use of South Africa as a means of influencing the Rhodesians.
21. We should question the British as to how they see the effect of mandatory sanctions on Southern Rhodesia in both the short and longer term. We should also try to learn what further means of bringing about a satisfactory settlement they have in mind. The British should not be given the impression, however, that the United States is so interested in a solution as to be urging concessions to Smith which would be unacceptable to the international community.
22. Since the use of force against the Rhodesian regime appears to be ruled out, no early solution of the problem can be anticipated. The US should nevertheless continue its policy of non-recognition of the Smith regime in order to protect our credibility and position throughout Africa.
23. The foregoing discussion reflects the current assessment of a variety of considerations relevant to US policy. Our policy should be given continuing consideration in the light of the anticipated future problems discussed below.
Anticipated Future Problems
The Enforcement of Mandatory Sanctions
24. The most likely cause of failure of the mandatory economic sanctions program will be non-compliance by key countries. There is, however, some doubt that, even if sanctions were complied with fully, they would in fact bring about an early settlement in Southern Rhodesia based on the six principles.
25. The countries most likely to violate the sanctions are of course Portugal and South Africa.
26. The question that the Security Council will be faced with in March 1967, when a review by the Security Council of the effectiveness of sanctions is scheduled, is what action to take should there be evidence of non-compliance by UN members. Should there be considerable evidence of non-compliance by Portugal and South Africa, there is the strong possibility that various African countries and others will urge the extension of mandatory sanctions to both South Africa and the Portuguese African territories.
27. The UK is most reluctant to engage in economic warfare with South Africa and we would find ourselves in a difficult position should we support such an extension. While our commercial and investment interests are not as extensive in South Africa as those of the UK, we nevertheless have considerable national interest in seeing economic conflict avoided with South Africa so as not to increase the strains on the value of the pound and speculation in gold. One possibility for the US would be to seek reaffirmation of the present sanctions and a renewed call for compliance.
28. Should there be non-compliance by South Africa and the Portuguese territories, various UN members may not only call for an extension of sanctions to these areas but may also request an armed blockade of the coast of the area to force these governments to comply. The Soviet Union would probably encourage and support such moves in order to bring economic pressure on the West for its own ends.
29. The failure of mandatory economic sanctions to bring about the restoration of constitutional authority in Southern Rhodesia would create hostility toward the US and the UK not only in Africa but in other areas of the world. American domestic criticism from both right and left of the US position on sanctions is likely to continue and support for the UK and UN actions may become more difficult to maintain. The prestige of the UK and US is involved as well as that of the UN.
30. If present measures are not effective, the African states can be expected to increase pressure for an independent US policy on Southern Rhodesia. Although US policy has been represented to the Africans as independently arrived at, certain key African leaders persist in the view that the US has been merely following the British lead.
The Declaration of a Rhodesian Republic
31. In the event of a declaration of a republic in Rhodesia (which Smith has stated will not take place without a vote of "the people"), we would be faced with the problem of our representation in Salisbury. Depending on what the British do and the terms on which the Rhodesian regime would accept our continued presence, we might find it to our interest (a) to withdraw the small staff that is presently there, (b) to maintain some unofficial liaison with the regime, or (c) to remain in place, on the theory that an illegal regime cannot become any more illegal by action going beyond the unilateral declaration of independence.
Racial Conflict in Southern Africa
32. In the event that serious racial conflict develops in southern Africa, Communist countries will attempt to win over nationalist elements among the Black Africans. A racial conflict in Southern Rhodesia would be difficult to keep from spreading into other areas both to the north and south. It would be difficult for the United States to remain totally aloof from such a conflict and we would be faced with the possibility of being urged to support either the "white settlers" for the sake of stability or the "black nationalists," who would probably have Communist backing, for the sake of our position in Africa and in other non-white countries in the world.
554. Intelligence Memorandum Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency/1/
RR IM 67-1
/1/Source: Johnson Library, White House Central Files, Confidential File, CO 250, Rhodesia-Nyasaland, Federation of. Secret; No Foreign Dissem. A copy is filed as an attachment to Document 553.
RHODESIA AND ZAMBIA:
FROM VOLUNTARY TO MANDATORY SANCTIONS/2/
/2/This memorandum was produced solely by CIA. It was prepared by the Office of Research and Reports and coordinated with the Office of Current Intelligence; the estimates and conclusions represent the best judgment of the Directorate of Intelligence as of January 1967. [Footnote in the source text.]
Mandatory economic sanctions imposed by the UN against Rhodesia are not likely to have the desired result. Essentially, the Security Council Resolution of 16 December 1966 makes binding on all UN members many of the voluntary sanctions which have been in effect for more than a year. These sanctions have failed to force Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith to reach an accommodation with the United Kingdom, largely because of South African and Portuguese support. Both South Africa and Portugal have indicated that they will ignore the Security Council's demands. Thus the economy of Rhodesia will probably be able to function at close to present levels. Voluntary sanctions also failed because the United Kingdom underestimated the white Rhodesians' commitment to the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI). Their determination is probably even greater now than a year ago.
Most of the adverse effects of voluntary sanctions have fallen on Zambia, whose economy is considerably shakier now than when Rhodesia proclaimed its independence on 11 November 1965. Zambia has had little success in its frenetic efforts over the past year to find alternative transport routes and thus reduce its critical dependence on Rhodesia. If present trends continue, Zambia will almost certainly have to make further concessions to Rhodesia to prevent economic deterioration. (For major transport routes in central Africa, see the map.)
Rhodesia, moreover, retains its capacity to retaliate against sanctions by refusing either to supply Zambia with goods or to carry the bulk of that country's imports and exports. Rhodesia could thus quickly bring the modern economy of Zambia to a halt and there would be little that UN members could do to supply Zambia with even its minimal needs.
[Here follows the body of the paper.]
555. Memorandum From the President's Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson/1/
Washington, January 24, 1967.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, Meeting Notes File, Briefing Papers for NSC Meeting January 25, 1967. No classification marking.
The State Department paper/2/ contains a useful summary of the history of the Rhodesian problem. It is less helpful about future U.S. policy.
Ambassador Goldberg is expected to make a strong appeal to continue our present policy in the UN. He has been asked to speak no more than seven minutes and to address his remarks to where we go in the future.
The two questions are:
a. What is Prime Minister Wilson going to do if Rhodesia won't give in, and economic sanctions don't work primarily because South Africa won't comply?
b. How are we going to work our way out of this black/white African problem
--without drifting into a situation involving the use of force,
--upholding the United Nations,
--maintaining our good relations with Britain,
--avoiding a showdown with South Africa, and
--retaining our influence in black Africa?
556. Summary Notes of the 567th Meeting of the National Security Council/1/
Washington, January 25, 1967, 12:10-12:45 p.m.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, NSC Meetings, Vol. 4, Tab 49, 1/25/67, Southern Rhodesia. Secret/Sensitive; For the President Only.
U.S. Policy Toward Southern Rhodesia
The President: The purpose of this meeting is to review our current policy toward Southern Rhodesia, to see where we are now, as well as where we expect to end up. Secretary Rusk will outline the State Department paper/2/ (copy attached) and Ambassador Goldberg will give his views on the problem as seen from New York.
Secretary Rusk: This is first a UK problem, then a UN problem, and only then is it a U.S. problem. We should not take a dominant role but should seek to get the parties together. When the issue was brought to the UN Security Council, we voted our principles. We rejected efforts to settle the problem by force and we took our lumps.
We will be criticized by both extremes as having done too much or having done too little. We can expect increasing trouble here and in Africa. Economic sanctions will not bring down the Smith Regime in Rhodesia. We must get UK Prime Minister Wilson talking to Smith and exert our influence behind the scenes.
This problem cannot be settled by force. The thought of using U.S. troops is appalling. A multi-division effort would be necessary.
We must get negotiations going again because there is rising support in the UN for sanctions against South Africa which is not complying with the UN resolution of limited sanctions against Rhodesia.
Ambassador Goldberg: The Rhodesian problem causes us difficulties with domestic public opinion and with Congress. There is in the U.S. a very active Rhodesian lobby. In the U.S. business community, there is more support than opposition for our policy.
We were obliged to vote in the UN as we did because to do otherwise would have caused us domestic racial difficulties and hurt our business interests in every African country. We have a strong political interest in keeping moderates in control of the problem. Our military interests, i.e., tracking stations in African countries, can be affected by the policy we pursue.
We have been talking to U.S. Negro leaders trying to convince them that we are not pulling UK chestnuts out of the fire as they believe.
Senator Russell was told that no military commitment is involved in our current policy. He relaxed after he learned that we do not plan to use U.S. troops and of my promise to veto any proposed use of force in Africa.
Secretary Rusk: The House Foreign Affairs Committee was reassured when told that our vote in the UN for sanctions against Rhodesia is not looked upon by the Administration as a first step toward the use of U.S. forces.
Ambassador Goldberg: Our role is a moderating one. We are not egging anyone on. African radicals are not happy with our policy. The Communists are actively troubling the waters in Africa. Sanctions will not work against Rhodesia. However, their economy may be affected sufficiently to induce them to negotiate. We have told the British to settle this issue honorably. Meanwhile, we will have to take current criticism. Even Haile Selassie cannot take a firm stand.
Senator Dirksen is not in as great a sweat as appears. He acknowledges we can't control the actions of our junior partner.
Acting CIA Director Taylor: Zambia is harder hit as a result of the current difficulties than is Rhodesia. It depends on Rhodesia for copper ore and coal. It is now toying with the idea of working out a deal with the Soviets.
The President: What are the British going to do if Rhodesia won't give in, and economic sanctions don't work, primarily because South Africa won't comply with them? A blockade would not be effective and there is no way to stop South African oil from going to Rhodesia. The British would be hurt if South Africa moves against them. We can't prevent South Africa from giving aid to Rhodesia.
Secretary Rusk: The British do not have a plan to propose if the selective sanctions do not force Rhodesia to negotiate an honorable settlement.
The President: How are we going to work out of this black/white African problem: (a) without drifting into a situation involving the use of force; (b) upholding the UN; (c) maintaining our good relations with the UK; (d) avoiding a showdown with South Africa; and (e) retaining our influence in black Africa?
Secretary Rusk: We must tell the British to resume their negotiations with the Rhodesians. At one point the parties were close to a compromise agreement which would not make black Africans happy but would get closer to a peaceful solution.
Ambassador Goldberg: To push for this kind of a solution is a delicate policy decision. We will be charged with selling out black Africa.
Deputy Secretary Vance: There is one thing which is quite clear; namely, no U.S. ground or naval forces are to be used to settle this problem.
Secretary Fowler: Concurs in the proposed policy direction. The Rhodesian problem is having a serious effect on sterling and the UK economic situation generally. The talk of sanctions against South Africa may have an impact on the U.S. dollar. The State Department paper should be revised to deal with the U.S. financial aspects of the Rhodesian problem.
557. Memorandum of Conversation/1/
London, February 24, 1967.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Secret. No drafting information appears on the source text. Approved in S/S on February 27. The source text is marked "Part III of III."
Foreign Secretary George Brown
Donald Murray, Foreign Office
The Foreign Secretary then turned to Rhodesia. He said that the evidence indicates that Smith is having increasing difficulties, but so far no alternative to his Government is emerging. Business is deteriorating and the Rhodesians are now faced with the problem of disposing of the second crop of tobacco since sanctions were originally imposed. The real problems, the Foreign Secretary said, are Portugal and South Africa. If sanctions are to be fully effective, the borders of Portuguese Africa had to be sealed off and, as we know, the British were currently discussing this matter in Lisbon. If we were really successful with the Portuguese, then it was essential that the South Africans not fill the gap in the Rhodesian economy resulting from Portuguese cooperation. The South Africans would never, of course, join in sanctions, but Brown thought there was a good chance of their cooperating "discreetly" by not increasing trade with Rhodesia above "normal" levels.
Brown also mentioned the fact that there is a good deal of informal, unofficial talk going on between various Rhodesians and the British Government. Some of the Rhodesians involved were in the Smith camp. Others were businessmen, etc., who were "anti-the present-situation" and were looking for a solution acceptable to both sides.
558. Country Summary Prepared in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research
Washington, March 6, 1967.
[Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, Africa General, 1967-1968. Secret; Eyes Only. 2 pages of source text not declassified.]
559. Background Paper Prepared in the Department of State/1/
Washington, May 29, 1967.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, United Kingdom, Visit of PM Wilson, 6/2/67. Confidential. Drafted by Thomas A. Fain of AFSE; cleared by Leddy and Springsteen, Goldstein, Director of the Office of United Nations Political Affairs Elizabeth Ann Brown, Ruth S. Gold of E, McElhiney, and Trimble.
VISIT OF UNITED KINGDOM PRIME MINISTER
/2/Prime Minister Wilson visited Washington June 2-3. No record of discussion of Rhodesia during his visit has been found.
Following the unilateral declaration of independence by the Rhodesian Front regime of Ian Smith from the United Kingdom on November 11, 1965, the UN Security Council, at the request of the British, approved a voluntary economic sanctions program against Southern Rhodesia. During 1966 intermittent talks were held between the United Kingdom and Rhodesian representatives and, with the rejection on December 5 of the HMS Tiger "working document" by the Rhodesian "cabinet," the UK requested the Security Council to impose limited mandatory economic sanctions against Southern Rhodesia to strengthen and supplement the voluntary program. Such sanctions were approved by the Council on December 16 with the concurrence of the US.
Under voluntary sanctions, total exports from Southern Rhodesia are estimated to have fallen from nearly $400 million in 1965 to an estimated $224 million in 1966, a drop of some 40%. (These figures do not include gold or re-exports. Gold exports amount to approximately $21 million annually.) Under the mandatory sanctions program, a further reduction in Rhodesian exports of approximately $55 million is anticipated if South Africa and Portugal, while not complying with the program, do not increase their trade with Southern Rhodesia.
Although it is estimated that the gross domestic product fell by 15% in 1966 compared to 1965 and present estimates suggest a further drop of about 10% by September 1967, the Rhodesians have not sought a settlement with the UK.
In late April a conversation was held in Salisbury between the British Governor and Ian Smith, apparently on the Governor's initiative. Smith's remarks were subsequently dismissed by Commonwealth Secretary Bowden as not having contained any real concessions and, therefore, as not providing a promising basis for re-opening talks.
It seems likely, however, that over the next two or three months the British will seek to create opportunities for re-opening negotiations with the Smith regime. If exploitable opportunities seem to exist, the British may be prepared to make further concessions to the so-far intractable Rhodesians in an effort to reach a settlement.
In the Commonwealth communique issued in London, September, 1966, the UK stated that, should the Smith regime not take steps to return to constitutional government by the end of 1966, it would: (a) withdraw all previous proposals made to the Rhodesians; (b) not propose to Parliament a settlement involving independence before majority rule; and (c) provided full Commonwealth support was obtained, seek selective mandatory economic sanctions against Southern Rhodesia in the UN.
With the collapse of the HMS Tiger talks, the UK sought and obtained Security Council action on mandatory economic sanctions. The UK continues to make clear both publicly and privately that it wishes to avoid economic warfare with South Africa and that it hopes to avoid having sanctions against Rhodesia affect British-South African trade. In any future discussions at the UN, the British would probably oppose any call by others to expand sanctions to include the Portuguese territories and South Africa, although they might not go so far as to use the veto. As in the past, the British would very probably oppose any proposal to use force against the Smith regime.
The entire international community acknowledges that Southern Rhodesia is a British colony. We believe it is important that the present sanctions program be made as effective as possible in the hope that the Smith regime will be led to reconsider its position and agree to a settlement to open the way to majority rule with minority rights protected. In cooperating with the international community in the sanctions program, we have been careful to commit ourselves only to the present program.
560. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (Palmer) to the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Kohler)
Washington, October 25, 1967.
[Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, 303 Committee Files, 303 C. 62, November 10, 1967. Secret; Eyes Only. 2 pages of source text not declassified.]
561. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Portugal/1/
Washington, November 10, 1967, 1010Z.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 24 RHOD. Secret; Noforn; Immediate; Limdis. Drafted by Country Director for Spain and Portugal George W. Landau, cleared by Leddy, and approved by Katzenbach. Repeated to Salisbury, USUN, and London.
67914. Subject: Southern Rhodesia--Under Secretary-Portuguese Foreign Minister Conversation.
1. In his November 9 talk with Under Secretary, Portuguese FonMin Franco Nogueira regretted fact that world opinion seemed to hold Portugal responsible for failure of UN sanctions against Southern Rhodesia. He expressed hope that USG was correctly informed and did not blame Portugal for fact that oil and other goods reached Southern Rhodesia. He said oil arrived in Mozambique in British and American ships and there was active trade from all parts of world. It is true, he said, that Portugal has stated that it would not abide by UN resolution, because it maintained that there must be freedom of transit. Therefore supplies marked for Southern Rhodesia were permitted to cross Mozambique. Portuguese could not be the world's "gendarme" and stop shipments which arrived in transit to Rhodesia.
2. In reply to Under Secretary's question, FonMin stated that Mozambique refinery had not increased production, but it was known that South African purchases of Mozambique oil were transshipped back through Mozambique into Rhodesia. He said that sanctions would fail because South Africa had the potential to supply oil to Rhodesia indefinitely. Because no major power wanted to confront South Africa, Portugal had to be scapegoat.
3. FonMin said that the wanted to bring all this to US attention as he expected this matter to come up in UN soon. He complained that SYG had failed to reply to various questions about legality of sanction program and that Portugal was entitled to a reply. When Under Secretary inquired whether Portugal would accept a reply from the Security Council, FonMin somewhat evasively said that he certainly would accept a ruling from the International High Court of Justice.
4. Franco Nogueira said that trade between Portugal and its territories on one side and Southern Rhodesia on the other was insignificant but that large countries including US, UK, Japan and others had to stop trading with Southern Rhodesia if they wanted sanctions to work.
5. Under Secretary said that it was obvious Portugal and the US took different views of the UN resolution on Rhodesian sanctions. He then explained difficulties US faced in requesting foreign subsidiaries of US firms to comply with US regulations.
6. Franco Nogueira concluded by reflecting his belief that Smith would survive because South Africa could supply him and continue to do so without difficulty.
562. Information Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (Sisco) to Secretary of State Rusk/1/
Washington, March 8, 1968.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 24 RHOD. Secret; Nodis.
Ambassador Dean has asked to see you very privately to discuss Rhodesia./2/ I assume that Ambassador Dean was instructed to take this matter up with you rather than leaving it in the hands of the British Mission in New York because the Foreign Office recognizes that Lord Caradon ordinarily wants to go much farther than his Government on African issues.
/2/Telegram 127765 to London, March 9, reported Ambassador Dean's conversation with the Secretary and Ambassador Goldberg on March 9. Dean said that the British Government wanted U.S. views on what action to take at the United Nations in view of the likelihood that the Afro-Asian members would raise the executions in Rhodesia and the British failure to prevent them in the Security Council. Rusk and Goldberg suggested that a first step might be to have the Security Council express its abhorrence and call upon Rhodesia to refrain from further executions. If Rhodesia ignored such a call, they might examine the desirability of some extension of sanctions. (Ibid., POL 16 RHOD/UN)
His call is probably prompted by recent UN activity in the Human Rights Commission and the Committee of 24 arising out of Rhodesia's execution of three prisoners despite commutation of their sentences by the Queen, as well as by reports of an early African initiative in the Security Council looking toward imposition of broader sanctions against Rhodesia. We now anticipate a Security Council meeting on Rhodesia about the end of next week.
Mandatory sanctions now in force against Southern Rhodesia under the SC resolution of December 16, 1966/3/ prohibit (a) imports from Southern Rhodesia of asbestos, iron ore, chrome, pig-iron, sugar, tobacco, copper, meat and meat products, and hides, skins and leather; (b) exports to Southern Rhodesia of arms, aircraft, motor vehicles and petroleum and petroleum products; and (c) any activities that promote or are calculated to promote such imports and exports.
/3/See footnote 2, Document 552.
During recent months there have been reports that the British were considering the advisability of extending mandatory sanctions to cover (a) oil shipments to Rhodesia via Mozambique; (b) a ban on communications with Rhodesia (principally telecommunications); (c) a ban on the export of television film materials to Rhodesia; and (d) a total embargo on trade with Rhodesia. On March 7 UK representatives in New York told our Delegation that the UK might be prepared to extend sanctions to telecommunications and a total embargo might even be within the realm of possibility. I am skeptical regarding these reports given the present financial straits of the UK.
So far as the present sanctions are concerned, the major loopholes have been (a) Portugal and South Africa, who ignore the SC resolution; (b) the activities of Japanese, French, Germans and others who continue to trade in embargoed commodities while their governments look the other way; and (c) the activities of certain overseas subsidiaries. US regulations issued to implement mandatory sanctions, like British regulations, do not extend to the activities of American overseas subsidiaries registered in countries other than Southern Rhodesia. We suggested such coverage to the British at the time our regulations were being drawn up, but they refused to agree to it.
I recommend that you simply note any proposals the Ambassador may make. You should be aware that the present sanctions are not achieving the desired goal of inducing Ian Smith to negotiate on UK terms and that it is our best judgment no piecemeal additions to the present sanctions can do the job. I would be generally discouraging regarding extension of sanctions.
563. Paper Prepared in the Department of State/1/
Washington, May 9, 1968.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Rhodesia, Vol. II, Cables, 2/66-12/68. Confidential. No drafting information appears on the source text. A May 9 covering memorandum from Read to Rostow reads: "I enclose for your information a report on the UN Security Council's current consideration of the question of Southern Rhodesia. It supplements my memorandum of April 6 which indicated that the British Government, in an effort to deflect Afro-Asian proposals in the Security Council for the adoption of radical measures to deal with the Rhodesian problem, was trying to develop support for less far-reaching proposals of its own." A copy of the Department's earlier Status Report on Southern Rhodesia (dated April 7, not April 6) is ibid., Memos and Miscellaneous, 2/66-12/68.
STATUS REPORT ON SOUTHERN RHODESIA
Two draft resolutions on Southern Rhodesia are now before the Security Council. The first resolution, introduced as a negotiating tactic by the Afro-Asians on April 18, calls upon the United Kingdom to use force to end the rebellion and provides a basis for the imposition of Chapter VII enforcement measures against South Africa and Portugal for their continued non-compliance with sanctions. The second draft, introduced by the UK on April 23, would (1) make comprehensive the present limited mandatory sanctions on trade with and investment in Southern Rhodesia; (2) prohibit the transfer to the territory of most private remittances; (3) attempt to restrict emigration to Southern Rhodesia; (4) impose a limited ban on travel from and air transport to Southern Rhodesia; (5) exempt landlocked states in southern Africa from full compliance with sanctions; and (6) expand the role of the Secretary-General and the Security Council in supervising implementation of sanctions.
Two weeks of British negotiations with the Afro-Asians in New York have produced slight accommodations by both sides toward a mutually acceptable draft resolution, but the Afro-Asians insist that any final resolution include (1) calls for UK action to prevent further executions in Salisbury and to end the rebellion "all effective measures"; (2) censure of South Africa for having assisted the Smith regime in defiance of sanctions; (3) termination of all communications with Rhodesia; (4) prohibition against transfers of funds from Rhodesia; (5) severance of consular relations; and (6) an injunction against further UK consultations with the Smith regime.
Both the British and we find these additional proposals unhelpful and most undesirable. However, reports from New York indicate that several friendly Security Council members are prepared to support many of them. For this reason, we followed the UK on May 2 in making representations in Asuncion, Copenhagen, Ottawa, Paris and Rio de Janeiro in an effort to muster enough abstentions in the Council so that the question of vetoing the Afro-Asian proposals will not arise.
564. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State (Katzenbach) to President Johnson/1/
Washington, May 28, 1968.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Files of Walt W. Rostow, Meetings with the President, May-June 1968. Confidential.
Proposed Security Council Resolution on Southern Rhodesia
After lengthy negotiations between the British and the Africans in New York, they have agreed on a new Security Council resolution on Rhodesia which we believe is livable from our point of view and which avoids more drastic action previously demanded by the Africans. The UK has taken the lead throughout and, as a result of a decision in London, will vote affirmatively for the resolution. This would also be our intention. The resolution is likely to be adopted unanimously.
Specifically, the resolution:
(a) Extends the existing sanctions on exports to and imports from Southern Rhodesia to cover all commodities except medical, educational and humanitarian supplies. Since the bulk of our trade with Rhodesia is already embargoed as a result of UN action, the practical effect on US trade is very marginal (only a total of about $5 million in imports and exports is involved).
(b) Prohibits investments or transfer of funds to Southern Rhodesia except for humanitarian purposes. Again this feature is marginal, since it does not touch past investments and no new American investments are expected in any case.
(c) Tightens transportation and air travel restrictions with regard to Southern Rhodesia in ways which do not directly affect the U.S.
(d) Bars entry into the U.S., except on humanitarian grounds, of persons travelling on Rhodesian passports and persons likely to work against the sanctions program or further the interests of the Rhodesian regime.
The resolution also establishes a Security Council Committee which would supervise the sanctions program and seek to ensure better compliance than in the past. We pressed for this provision in response to the desire of our own commercial interests who feel they are being asked to adhere to the sanctions program more strictly than commercial interests in certain other countries.
Finally, the resolution has two non-mandatory provisions: a request that member states take action which would have the practical effect of cutting off communications with Rhodesia; and a recommendation that consular and trade representation be withdrawn from Rhodesia.
Ambassador Goldberg would make clear in his explanation of vote that we consider these two paragraphs to be non-mandatory. At the same time he would indicate we believe the flow of information and communication with Rhodesia should continue. He would not make any specific statement with respect to the closing of our Consulate General in Salisbury leaving the option open as to what we might do in the future.
The vote is expected on either Wednesday afternoon or Friday morning. Ambassador Goldberg agrees with this course./2/
/2/On May 29, the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 253 (1968). For text, see Department of State Bulletin, June 24, 1968, pp. 847-849. On July 29, the President issued Executive Order 11419 implementing the mandatory provisions of Resolution 253. For text of the Executive Order and a Department of State announcement of the same date, see ibid., August 19, 1968, pp. 199-201.
Nicholas deB. Katzenbach
565. Action Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (Sisco) and the Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs (Quimby) to Secretary of State Rusk/1/
Washington, June 10, 1968.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Confidential. Sent through Under Secretary Katzenbach. Drafted by Fain and Thomas J. Carolan of IO/UNP on March 6-7, and cleared by Brown, Goldstein, and Edward W. Holmes of AFSE.
UN Security Council Recommendation for the Withdrawal of all Consulates from Southern Rhodesia
The Security Council's new Rhodesian resolution, adopted unanimously on May 29, presents a special problem for us since it emphasizes "the need for the withdrawal of all consular and trade representation in Southern Rhodesia . . . ." At the time of the vote Ambassador Goldberg explained that we would give careful consideration to this non-mandatory provision but, in doing so, would have "to take into account our profound belief in a free flow of information and communication through- out the world, which we feel should apply to Rhodesia as well." He pointed out that the US has no trade representation in Southern Rhodesia.
In terms of our public position as well as the Department's own requirements, it is essential that we decide promptly whether to remove or maintain our consular establishment in Salisbury. After considering carefully all the factors involved, we have concluded that it is in our interest to maintain the already sharply reduced staff of the Consulate General, at least for the time being and barring such developments as a mass exodus by other governments from the territory. In any case, we propose to leave the question open so that should we consider it proper we may withdraw the consular staff in the future. We recognize that a decision to remain in Salisbury will draw some criticism from the Afro-Asians and that, by virtue of being the biggest target, we can expect to receive more than our share of criticism in the United Nations.
The following considerations, however, argue in favor of maintaining our small staff in Salisbury:
(1) Reporting--Political and economic information obtained at first hand in Salisbury has proved valuable. The Consulate General's reporting, particularly with respect to the effect of sanctions on the Rhodesian economy, has helped us base our policy on our own information.
(2) Protection for American Citizens--There are over 1,000 American citizens in Southern Rhodesia, some three- fourths of whom are missionaries and their families. Our Consular officials in Salisbury perform a number of essential services for these people in passport and citizenship matters and welfare activities.
(3) Intentions of Other Governments--Ten foreign consulates have remained in Salisbury since 1965. The Japanese have announced the closing of theirs on June 5. (This action by Japan--which claims no nationals resident in Southern Rhodesia--is an effort to regain some favor with the Afro-Asians after being a prominent sanctions-buster for some time.) We do not expect that many of the other governments concerned (Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa and Switzerland) will follow suit. The UK will maintain its residual mission there.
We believe the advantages of retaining our Consulate General at Salisbury outweigh the disadvantages. We would propose, therefore, to make our intentions on this subject known shortly after the President signs the Executive Order implementing the mandatory provisions of the Security Council resolution. We would say that, although the matter will remain under continuing review, we intend to maintain our small staff in Salisbury for the time being. We would emphasize our convictions about the free flow of information and communications everywhere, and we would lean heavily on the rationale of providing essential services for Americans residing in Southern Rhodesia. A draft statement for press guidance is attached.
/2/Secretary Rusk initialed his approval of both recommendations on June 17.
1. That, subject to future developments, we continue to maintain our consular office at Salisbury.
2. That the decision be made public shortly after the issuance of the US Executive Order, along the lines of the attached press guidance./3/
/3/The attachment is not printed.
566. Intelligence Memorandum Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency/1/
ER IM 68-71
Washington, June 1968.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Rhodesia, Vol. II, Memos and Miscellaneous, 2/66-12/68. Secret; No Foreign Dissem.
RHODESIA: A THIRD ROUND OF SANCTIONS/2/
/2/Note: This memorandum was produced solely by CIA. It was prepared by the Office of Economic Research and was coordinated with the Office of Current Intelligence. [Footnote in the source text.]
The comprehensive sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council on 29 May 1968 against Rhodesia are unlikely to have much more effect in forcing Salisbury to relinquish its independence than have previous limited sanction efforts. So long as South Africa and Portugal refuse to comply with the Security Council's demand, Rhodesia will almost certainly be able to sell sufficient exports and obtain necessary imports to maintain its economy. Most of Rhodesia's foreign trade has been reoriented to adjust to previous sanctions and already either is with South Africa and Portugal or is carried out through disguised trade arrangements. Moreover, the country is more self-sufficient now than at the time of its Unilateral Declaration of Independence in late 1965 and is, therefore, better able to cope with the increased sanctions.
Zambia and Congo (Kinshasa) will not be able to apply trade sanctions fully against Rhodesia without bringing serious economic damage to themselves. Without Rhodesian coal, Zambian and Congo copper production would have to be cut back drastically. Moreover, Rhodesia can retaliate against sanctions by refusing to supply Zambia with electric power, which is essential to the copper industry, or by refusing to carry most of the country's imports and exports, on which the Zambian economy is dependent. Although the UN resolution requests member states to assist Zambia, there is little that can be done over the next few years to replace the essential goods and services supplied by neighboring Rhodesia.
[Here follows the body of the paper.]
567. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (Quimby) to the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Kohler)
Washington, June 20, 1968.
[Source: Department of State, INR/IL Historical Files, 303 Committee Files, 303 C. 70, June 21, 1968. Secret; Eyes Only. 2 pages of source text not declassified.]
568. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom/1/
Washington, October 8, 1968, 1736Z.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Secret; Nodis. Drafted and approved by Read.
251566. Following message to President dated October 7 from Prime Minister received by private channel:
Your people will have told you of my plans for a further meeting with Ian Smith to see if we cannot at last thrash out together an honourable settlement of this tragic Rhodesian business. We shall not announce it until early tomorrow afternoon (our time) because, although my senior colleagues principally concerned are naturally at one with me in the enterprise, I have to seek the endorsement of the full Cabinet at our meeting tomorrow, the first that has been possible since our conference last week.
Assuming, as I hope and believe, that my colleagues endorse this action, I plan to meet Smith in Gibraltar on Wednesday afternoon, on board a warship and to allow as much time as may be needed during the next week or so to negotiate an agreement.
I need not trouble you with the detailed background to our position. Your people will know it. In this message I only want to say two things.
First I am determined that, if no settlement can be agreed, this will not be through lack of goodwill, patience or resolution on our side. This conflict has been a tragedy not only in the relationship between Britain and Rhodesia but also for the development of our Commonwealth ties and, more widely, for the international community as a whole. Its continuation not only threatens the future peace and prosperity of the Rhodesian Africans but also causes the danger of a wider and continuing conflict throughout southern Africa. I know what difficult problems it has raised for you and I have been most grateful for the support and understanding that you have so consistently displayed.
Secondly, if a settlement can be achieved, I am equally resolved that it shall not represent a sacrifice of the rights and interests of the peoples of Rhodesia--and especially the African peoples. We have made absolutely clear to Smith that for us certain points are not negotiable--and these points relate essentially to the protection of the rights of the African majority and to the need to ensure that substantial change of circumstances in Rhodesia which, as I have said repeatedly, will be essential before there can be any question of our going back to the Commonwealth to re-open our commitment on no independence before majority rule.
I will not pretend that I am optimistic. Long experience in dealing with this problem--and in dealing with Smith personally--has made me too wary for that. But recent developments in Rhodesia, the pressures of sanctions (and other pressures too: I am sure for example that South Africa would like us to settle), coupled with the way Smith has handled some of his own right wing extremists have all created a situation in which, once again I am convinced that we should be wrong not to try. I am confident that I can count on your good wishes for our success: and this will be a source of encouragement to me throughout the difficult and delicate discussions that lie ahead. End Text.
569. Telegram From the Embassy in Zambia to the Department of State/1/
Lusaka, October 19, 1968, 1017Z.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL RHOD-UK. Secret; Immediate. Repeated to London, Pretoria, Salisbury, and USUN.
2782. For Katzenbach and Moore (AF) from Palmer. Subj: Concern Should UK-Rhodesian Settlement Be Reached.
1. Following discussions with Kaunda and country team (including O'Neill from Salisbury) wish record concerns I have for US position in event UK-Rhodesian settlement reached on basis Gibraltar proposals.
2. As Kaunda sees it, any settlement which does not include British control during interim period before independence is a "sell-out" (septel)./2/ Although our view of Rhodesia and what would constitute satisfactory settlement do not necessarily coincide with Kaunda's, our aim of unimpeded progress to majority rule has always been firm. Therefore, before we subscribe to any settlement on Gibraltar terms we should have hard look at details and likelihood Rhodesian good faith in carrying proposals out. In this connection, I do not think we can exclude possibility UK agreeing on something less than Gibraltar. UK HICOM Pumphrey (protect) candidly emphasized to me last night how anxious PriMin Wilson is to be rid of Rhodesian problem.
/2/Telegram 260164 to Pretoria, October 23, stated that the Department appreciated Kaunda's concern regarding the lack of provisions in the Fearless proposals for an interim period of British control before independence, but noted that the United Kingdom was insisting on safeguards against possible retrogressive amendments to the proposed constitution. It noted that while the Department was volunteering no public comment on the substance of the talks, the U.S. Government would be under great pressure to go along with any agreement and would probably do so. (Ibid.)
3. Ultimately, leaving Smith in control depends on question of trust in him and Europeans in general to carry out agreement in good faith. On basis past record and evident British unwillingness use force even if agreement violated, this is slender reed.
4. We also need to find out more specifically what British have in mind on implementation certain details. How would sanctions be dismantled? Supposing resolution withdrawing sanctions was vetoed? Would threat of sanctions reimposition be requested of Security Council by UK? A most important element is how test of acceptability would be carried out. Just when and how quickly would cases restricted or detained nationalists be reviewed? If these nationalists were clearly willing give agreement a try, there would be favorable atmosphere. What happens, however, if Zanu leader Sithole is for and Zapu Leader Nkomo against or vice versa? Suggest London explore these questions with CO.
5. Agreement does not currently seem too likely in light Smith's attitude. However, in light forgoing factors, I urge USG proceed cautiously, take reserved attitude should agreement materialize quickly and avoid any advanced commitments at least until full analysis can be made of implications for US positions in Africa and elsewhere.
570. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Swaziland/1/
Washington, October 25, 1968, 2222Z.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Country Officer for Southern Rhodesia Robert L. Bruce and AFI Policy Reports Officer F. Virginia Montague; cleared by Holmes and Edward J. Alexander of AF; and approved by Director of the Office of Inter-African Affairs Fred L. Hadsel.
262085. For Palmer from AF. Ian Smith has sent to Prime Minister Wilson Southern Rhodesia's formal reply to British "Fearless" proposals. While we do not have exact text, we understand that Smith indicated his willingness to reach agreement if British drop insistence on appeal to Privy Council on constitutional matters. Since Wilson has already told Parliament he is not averse to abandoning the appeal to Privy Council in favor some other "guarantee," way seems open to a settlement. Afro-Asian nations have begun criticizing what they interpret as British "sell-out." They introduced resolution in UNGA calling on Britain "not to grant independence to Southern Rhodesia unless it preceded by establishment of a government based on free elections by universal adult suffrage and on majority rule," and calling on all states "not to recognize any independence to Southern Rhodesia without prior establishment of a government based on majority rule . . . ." We instructed our delegate to abstain and to make no statement.
Vote in GA October 25: 92 yes; 2 no (South Africa and Portugal); 17 abstentions (including US, Botswana and Malawi).
571. Telegram From the Department of State to All African Posts/1/
Washington, November 1, 1968, 2223Z.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 16 RHOD/UN. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Hadsel, cleared by Deputy Director of the Office of UN Political Affairs William H. Gleysteen and Holmes, and approved by Hadsel.
265503. Subject: Rhodesian GA Resolution.
1. Since US voted against Rhodesian resolution passed (89-9-15) by Committee Four October 30,/2/ it may appear to interested Africans that we have shifted position on general question. This not the case, and following background information may be used as appropriate in conversations host government.
/2/On October 30, the Fourth Committee of the U.N. General Assembly adopted a 50-power draft resolution condemning the failure of the United Kingdom to take effective steps to bring down the illegal regime in Rhodesia, calling on the United Kingdom to use force to put an end to that regime, and drawing the attention of the Security Council to the "urgent necessity" of imposing sanctions on Portugal and South Africa. Resolution 2383 (XXIII) was adopted by the General Assembly on November 7 by a vote of 86 to 9 (including the United States) with 19 abstentions.
2. US sought to obtain paragraph-by-paragraph vote, since there several paras advocating use of force which we could not accept and others on which support or abstention possible. US del stated that in case paragraph vote accepted, US could abstain on resolution as a whole. Although consistent with GA practice, paragraph voting opposed by ASAFS because large number LA and some Asians and Scans would have joined other Western countries in opposition to most paras of resolution. Moreover, US not consulted on preparation of resolution.
572. Memorandum From Roger Morris of the National Security Council Staff to the President's Special Assistant (Rostow)/1/
Washington, November 15, 1968.
/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Rhodesia, Vol. II, Memos and Miscellaneous, 2/66-12/68. Secret.
The odds now favor some break on Rhodesia in the next few weeks. Here's a quick look:
1. Wilson is clearly anxious to be rid of this problem. British public sympathy for the black Rhodesians has gradually melted into resignation or indifference. Sensing the moment, powerful economic interests in the City are pressuring the PM for a "practical" settlement.
2. Though he seemed steadfast in the Fearless talks, Wilson made important concessions on the question of legitimizing Rhodesian independence. The last obstacle was the old British ace-in-the-hole: an external guarantee that the white-dominated Rhodesian Parliament wouldn't renege, after the fact, on the negotiated constitutional provisions for eventual majority rule. Wilson's vehicle for the guarantee was a Privy Council--with a majority of Commonwealth watchdogs--to review and annul any infringement of the process. Smith, of course, rejected the idea on the grounds that the Council posed an unacceptable violation of Rhodesian sovereignty.
3. Now the British have gone back to Salisbury with a very attractive compromise to dilute the powers of the Privy Council. The rather elaborate legal formula is described in the attached cable./2/ The point is that it papers over another British retreat.
/2/Telegram 14297 from London, November 13; not printed.
4. If Smith et al. buy this proposal--and most of us think they will--there could be a formal settlement within 2-3 weeks. State counts no more than 30 or 40 Labor votes against Wilson on this, and with overwhelming Conservative support he'll easily carry the House.
In the short run, the consensus around town is that we adopt a wait- and-see attitude pending the reaction of the black Rhodesians. No one is altogether sure how nationalist leaders like Nkomo and Sithole will view the settlement from the Salisbury jail, or how the two squabbling terrorist organizations in Zambia will respond. Waiting on local reactions is a plausible line in public. And it should do as a first answer to Kaunda, who has already written to the President about the British "sell out." Nick Katzenbach will be sending over a memo recommending this tack, along with a proposed reply to Kaunda. I'm abreast of the policy-making process in State.
The Long Run
This position is likely to blunt the initial African outcry when Wilson announces his deal. It does give everybody a chance to ponder the legal merits of the agreement. I'm afraid, though, that agony is inevitable.
However judicious the formula, the fact will remain that Wilson gave up independence without majority rule. In African eyes, the Privy Council will be a poor substitute even for the gossamer dream of British intervention. Nkomo and Sithole have a calculated taste for martyrdom. The counter pressures within the terrorist groups (who are beginning to make slight dents in Rhodesian security) will be enormous. Kaunda, who soon faces an election, and Nyerere, who has to keep an eye on his Chinese patrons, will have compelling reasons to reject the settlement out of hand.
This adds up to a judgment that no realistic Rhodesian settlement could carry the black Africans with it. We buy time by waiting for a fair reading of the African reaction. We may even purchase a few more months, amid mounting criticism, by urging that the settlement be given a fair chance to operate.
But sooner or later, the President or his successor will face a tortuous decision: our moral and political position in black Africa vs. a public break with the British (on what will be celebrated in their next election as a major accomplishment of the Wilson Government)./3/
/3/On November 16, the head of the British negotiating team in Salisbury announced that the principal stumbling block to a settlement was the Rhodesian refusal to accept the British proposal that the Privy Council in London constitute the court of final appeal against racially discriminatory laws in Rhodesia. No British-Rhodesian settlement was reached.
573. Letter From President Johnson to President Kaunda/1/
Washington, November 25, 1968.
/1/Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL RHOD-UK. No classification marking.
Dear Mr. President:
I much appreciated your thoughtful letter about the recent talks between the British Government and Mr. Ian Smith./2/
/2/In his October 25 letter, President Kaunda expressed concern that the rights of Southern Rhodesia's African majority would be sacrificed if a settlement were reached on the basis of the Fearless proposals. (Ibid., POL RHOD-US)
As you know, the United States has fully supported and carried out the United Nations' mandatory sanctions against Southern Rhodesia. We have done this in the hope that those sanctions would influence the Smith regime to agree to a peaceful settlement opening the way to majority rule. We are still hopeful that a fair and just solution--one that serves the aspirations of all the people of Rhodesia--will eventually be reached.
You can be sure, Mr. President, that America shares your deep and abiding concern for the future of the African majority in Southern Rhodesia. I think our own recent history is ample proof of our commitment to human rights. We have chosen the path of freedom and equality at home; we want no less for all mankind.
It was good, as always, to have your personal views on this grave problem. I know you will do all you can to promote peaceful progress and justice in Southern Africa. The United States is working toward the same goals.
With warmest personal regards.
Lyndon B. Johnson