Volume #18 - 288.|
SEPTIÈME SESSION DE L'ASSEMBLÉE GÉNÉRALE, PREMIÈRE PARTIE, 14 OCTOBRE-21 DÉCEMBRE 1952
INSTRUCTIONS À LA DELEGATION CANADIENNE
AFRIQUE DU SUD : CONFLIT RACIAL
Note du secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures|
pour le Cabinet
le 8 octobre 1952|
POLICY GUIDANCE FOR THE CANADIAN DELEGATION TO THE UNITED NATIONS ON THE QUESTION OF RACE CONFLICT IN SOUTH AFRICA83|
India has obtained the support of the other 12 Arab and Asian
countries in the United Nations and the item which India alone was
going to sponsor "Race Conflict in South Africa Resulting from the
Policies of Apartheid of the Government of the Union of South
Africa" is now on the U.N. supplementary provisional agenda under
the sponsorship of all 13 Arab-Asian countries. It is believed that
Ethiopia, Liberia, Thailand, some Latin-American countries and
possibly the Soviet bloc will support the Arab-Asian item. If this
is the case, there will be a majority of U.N. members voting for
the inclusion of the question on the final agenda.
I attach an article on this subject which has been prepared for the guidance of the Canadian Delegation. It suggests the following course of action:
1. (a) The Canadian Delegation might let other delegations know in informal discussions that the inclusion of this item on the final agenda would cause us embarrassment; but our Delegation should not otherwise oppose its inclusion on the agenda.
(b) Also in informal discussions, our Delegation might let other delegations know that, should the item be placed on the final agenda, we would hope to have it referred to the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion on the law, i.e. the scope of essential domestic jurisdiction (Article 2 (7) of the Charter) and the facts of race conflict.
2. When the General Assembly votes on whether or not this item is to be included on its final agenda, the Canadian Delegation should abstain on the vote.
3. If the item is placed on the final agenda, it will cause bitter debates. Nothing would be gained by our Delegation taking part in them.
4. If a resolution is proposed referring the question to the International Court, our Delegation should support it.
5. If a vote on an Indian or an Arab-Asian resolution expressing disapproval of South Africa's apartheid policy cannot be avoided, the Canadian Delegation should support such a resolution If it is put in reasonable terms. The main reasons for doing so are as follows:
(a) While Canada has consistently advocated a reference to the International Court on a somewhat similar item, the Treatment of Indians in South Africa, our reason for supporting a reference to the Court on the Race Conflict item is somewhat different. In the former case, there was uncertainty about the status of the so-called "international" agreements between India and South Africa; also, as Mr. St. Laurent said in his speech of November 25, 1946, we believed the dispute came within "an area of doubt". On the other band, it is suggested that the item on Race Conflict in South Africa, is not wholly in "an area of doubt"; rather the apartheid policy which has caused race conflict comes very close to the category described by Mr. St. Laurent as "a flagrant violation of elementary human rights". Our principal reason therefore, for supporting a resolution to the International Court on the Race Conflict issue is to delay and possibly prevent bitter discussion on the merits of the question.
(b) Canada will give offense to some member of the Commonwealth whatever course it follows; a vote for the resolution will offend South Africa; a vote against the resolution will offend Pakistan and India. By abstaining, we are allowing the belief to grow among the coloured races that in any conflict between white and coloured peoples, the white nations will always stand together. If the merits of the question are discussed, South Africa may again boycott the U.N. meetings and may possibly withdraw from the United Nations; on the other hand, if all Commonwealth countries vote against or abstain on the resolution, India may interpret these votes as a preference for an all-white Commonwealth and may consider withdrawing from it.
(c) If there is to be a choice, it is suggested that even on purely strategic grounds the friendly neutrality of the coloured half of the world is more desirable and necessary than the support of two million white people in South Africa if a preponderance of force is to be created and preserved against the Soviet Union.
Therefore, if a vote on the substance of the question Race Conflict in South Africa cannot be avoided, I recommend that the policy outlined above be followed since I think it is the best for the circumstances. However, the wording of any resolution disapproving of South Africa's apartheid policy should be carefully examined by the Canadian Delegation before voting for it to make sure that it gives no unnecessary offense to South Africa.