African Questions in the United Nations
white rule in africa, a staple topic in recent sessions of United Nations bodies, will again occupy the attention of the General Assembly and the Security Council this autumn as Afro-Asian nations increase pressure on the great powers for drastic action against Portugal and South Africa. Portugal, now fighting nationalist rebels in Angola and in Portuguese Guinea, is the last of Europe's colonial powers refusing to recognize the right of the people of its territories to self-determination and independence. South Africa continues to implement its policy of apartheid, or total separation of the republic's white and colored populations. Almost continuous attack in the United Nations has had little effect to date on the policies of either country.
Assembly Resolutions on White Rule in Africa
Since the first appearance of the question of race separation in South Africa on the agenda of the U.N. General Assembly in 1952, resolutions on that question have been adopted at every session. The resolution adopted last November declared that the situation in South Africa seriously endangered international peace and security. It asked member states to break diplomatic relations with that country and subject it to an arms embargo and economic boycott. In addition, the resolution called on the Security Council to take appropriate measures, including sanctions and possible expulsion from the world organization, to obtain compliance by South Africa with U.N. policy.
In General Assembly debate, American and British spokesmen urged that the request for sanctions and expulsion be dropped. Francis T.P. Plimpton, Deputy U.S. Representative to the United Nations, pointed out that the Assembly could do no more than recommend that members apply sanctions and that the decline of the League of Nations had been precipitated by that body's inability to enforce sanctions. C. T. Crowe of the United Kingdom said that expulsion would remove South Africa from an organization in which it is exposed to the weight of world opinion. He cautioned that expulsion would set a dangerous precedent; if all countries whose policies were disapproved by a majority of other members were expelled, the United Nations would not long endure.