109 Knowles to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram [12] PRETORIA, 8 September 1946, 4.05 p.m.


Your telegram 1 of 26th August, South West Africa.

1. At the forthcoming Assembly the Union Government will press strongly for the incorporation of South West Africa in the Union of South Africa and I have been able to sight and will forward by the first mail one or two copies of the 65 page brief with which the Delegates will be armed. The Union Government states that their case fully understood by the Member States of the British Commonwealth of Nations and that the United Kingdom have promised unqualified support. Support is also assured from Canada and New Zealand, and they hope Australia will agree that neither mandate system nor any form of trusteeship should apply to South West Africa.

2. The Union Government's case will be argued on certain well- defined lines.

(i) For 25 years the territory has been administered as an integral part of the Union and has been regarded and is as such.

(ii) Its contiguity to the Union is such that geographically and strategically it is indivisible from the latter.

(iii) Ethnically the natives are akin to those of the Union.

(iv) Economically South West Africa has become and is inseparably related to the Union.

(v) Financially fiscally there has grown up an inter Regency which it would be impossible to annul.

(vi) The 30,000 European inhabitants of South West Africa and 80% of the natives therein numbering 210,000 have opted unhesitatingly for incorporation.

3. The foregoing is but a skeleton outline of the case which the Union Government say will be supported by documentary evidence of an unquestionable character.

4. Fact of your possession of copy of the brief mentioned in paragraph one herein should not at any time be disclosed.

[AA:A1067, P46/153/4]