Volume #14 - 926.|
RELATIONS WITH INDIVIDUAL COUNTRIES
Memorandum from Minister of National Defence|
to Secretary of State for External Affairs
December 15th, 1948|
Mr. Charles te Water, Ambassador-at-Large for South Africa, called with D. P.R. Viljoen, who represents South Africa in Ottawa, with, as he said, the object of paying his respects and explaining his Government's views on a number of questions which were of vital importance to South Africa.
2. As the talk developed, it became evident that his one purpose was to try to secure the support of Canada for South Africa's "white supremacy" policy.
3. He said that British and European interests had been liquidated in the Far East. The East had been returned to the East. The world struggle between Communism and other nations made Africa as a whole a place of the utmost strategic importance. White South Africans were among the most conservative peoples in the world, entirely opposed to Communism. Africa had a total population of 175,000,000, of whom about 5,000,000 were white and half of these were in South Africa. If we wanted Africa to remain a solid base for future operations, we must support the South African policy. If we had no interest in the survival of South African culture, then we should let them know and they would act accordingly.
4. He said that the Indians were endeavouring to make Africa Indian. They would not go home to India. To the contrary, they wanted to bring in more so as to swamp the white population.
5. Though he dealt mainly with the Indian problem, he also touched on the black situation.
6. On several occasions he said we in Canada did not understand the situation or else we would have a greater sympathy for his country's position. He referred to our participation in the "nefarious" South African war.
7. Asked whether his Government would respect the "entrenched clauses" by which certain rights are guaranteed to the native population under the constitution, he became at once evasive. I judged that they had no intention of respecting these rights.
8. Asked also what they intended to do about the constitutional position, he said that they would continue to be in the Commonwealth. Again he appeared to resent this question. He said that while his Party was a republican party, they would be a republic within the Commonwealth with the King as King of republican South Africa!
9. In trade South Africa was becoming more and more aligned with the United States.
10. South Africa is in an extremely difficult situation and we must be most careful to help in every way possible. But for me at least, Mr. te Water made the worst of the present govemment's bad case. If he talks to others as he did to me, I would think that South Africa would lose such little support as she has for her present policy.