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Department of State bulletin (Volume v. 22, Apr- Jun 1950) online

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In this sense, the Soviet threat is a challenge to
the free world to live up to the principles it

Increasing Strength of Western Nations

The free nations are meeting this challenge with
vitality and energy.

Over a great part of the world, the work of re-
covery and peaceful development is quickening its

Our faith in the recoveiy of Western Europe,
expressed in the Marshall Plan, has been justified
many times over by the near-miracle of production
we have been witnessing. We have seen dramatic
evidence there of the will to work. We have also
seen resolute expression of the will to be free and
to unite in common defense.

Last month, the Secretary of State went to Paris
and London to meet with representatives of our
partner-nations in the North Atlantic Treaty.
Those meetings demonstrated two significant facts :
First, the nations of Western Euro])e have grown
much stronger and much more confident during the
past year. Second, the nations of the North At-
lantic Treaty are rapidly forging an effective part-

June 79, J 950


nership for a great purpose — to preserve their
freedom and improve the lives of tlieir citizens.

The recent proposal of the Foreign Minister
of France, Mr. Schuman, is evidence of the grow-
ing community of purpose among the free nations.
He proposed that the coal and steel resources of
Western Europe be pooled and utilized jointly for
the benefit of all. This statesmanlike move and
the warm German response to it are among the most
encouraging developments in Europe since the
end of the war. Meetings are being held now on
the Schuman proposal and, if the details can be
worked out, this plan will help to end the age-old
rivalry between France and Germany and result
in a far more peaceful and productive Europe.

In the sphere of defense, the decisions made at
London give further evidence of the growing com-
munity of purpose of the North Atlantic Treaty
countries. These countries are making plans to
use their resources wisely so that military protec-
tion and social progress will both be maintained.

To this end, the Treaty nations adopted the
principle of creating balanced collective forces
of the most modern and efficient type. This means
that each country will contribute to the common
defense of the North Atlantic area in accordance
with a common plan, instead of trying to create a
complete modern defense establishment for itself.

Such a balanced collective defense will be
stronger and less costly than the old system of
completely separate defense establishments. It
will make it possible to provide the necessary mili-
tary protection without imposing an unmanage-
able burden upon the economies of the member
countries. Countries, like the United States, which
have responsibilities for maintaining peace and
security outside the North Atlantic Treaty area,
will, of course, continue to maintain whatever
defense forces are needed to meet those other

The conferences in Paris and London also dealt
with the situation in Southeast Asia. In that
area, Communist agents are trying, under the cloak
of nationalism, to destroy the independence of
newly formed free nations.

The governments of these nations are resisting
Communist encroachment and subversion to the
best of their ability. We are now extending eco-
nomic and military assistance to these countries
to help them create the stability necessary to resist
Communist pressure and to promote better condi-
tions of life for their people. This aid to the
countries of Southeast Asia is designed to make it
possible for them to work out their own destinies
in cooperation with the other free peoples of the

The United States intends to do its part in sup-
porting the decisions and implementing the plans
developed at Paris and London.

The free nations of the world have all the ele-
ments of strength necessary to protect themselves

from aggression. They are applying one of the
clearest lessons of the two World Wars — that
peace-loving nations must be strong, determined,
and united if they are to preserve the peace. The
resolute efforts being made by the United States,
in concert with other free nations, enable us to
face with confidence the hazards of the future.

We cannot be complacent, because the dangers
we confront are many and serious. On the other
hand, we must not become hysterical. In all proba-
bility we shall be required to make substantial
efforts for peace for many years to come. But our
situation is strong; our strength is growing. We
must remain cool, determined, and steady.

Above all, I wish to emphasize that the objective
of our efforts is peace, not conflict. What we seek
is not domination over any other nation or people
but simply the creation of a just international
order, applicable to all nations. We believe that
this aim can be achieved when all nations seek it in
good faith. We look forward to the time when
all international differences can be settled peace- i
fully, and by negotiation, on the basis of these |

In the language of the Charter of the United
Nations, we are determined "to save succeeding
generations from the scourge of war, which twice
in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to man-

The people of the world look to the United
States of America as the strong bulwark of free-
dom, and to them we pledge that we shall work
side by side with other free nations in order that
men the world over may live in freedom and in

John Foster Dulles To Visit
Korea and Japan

Statement hy Secretary Acheson
[Released to the press June 7]

John Foster Dulles will depart by plane on
June 14 for Japan and Korea, in accordance with
his recently announced plans to see both countries
at first hand. He will be accompanied by John
M. Allison, director of the Office of Northeast
Asian Affairs, the office in the Department respon-
sible for Japanese and Korean matters. Mrs.
Dulles and Miss Doris A. Doyle, Mr. Dulles' secre-
tary, will also be in the party, which expects to be
gone about 2 weeks.

Mr. Dulles recently assumed responsibilities in
the Department concerning a Japanese peace set-
tlement. His interest in Korea derives from the
leading role he played in bringing about United
Nations recognition of the Republic of Korea as
the only legal Government in Korea.


Deparfment of Stafe Bulletin

United States Interests in Africa

hy George C. McGhee, Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern,
South Asian, and African Affairs ^

There is no single answer to the problem of for-
mulating an African policy, as there is no single
answer to other major problems which confront us
today. What then are our objectives in Africa?
How can we reconcile the diverse and conflicting
influences which demand consideration? How
can we, at the same time, establisli a position which
represents the best interests of the United States
and is consistent with the principles which have
traditionally motivated our foreign policy?

The Continent of Africa

The continent of Africa contains almost 180
million people, representing 8 percent of the
world's population. It occupies an area of over
11 million square miles, which exceeds the total
area of North America b\' almost 2 million square
miles. Throughout this enormous territory, there
are only four completely independent states —
Egypt, which counts itself pi'imarily as a Near
Eastern state; Ethiopia; Liberia; and the Union
of South Africa, which is a member of the British
Conmionwealth. In addition. Southern Rhodesia,
which is a self-governing colony within the Com-
monwealth system, has a high degree of local
autonomy. As a result of the recent action of
the United Nations, independence will be accorded
to Libya by the beginning of 1952, and to Italian
Somaliland within 10 years. The small interna-
tional zone of Tangier has a unique political status,
in that it is tlie only internationally administered
area in the world.

All the remaining territorial units of Africa
stand in varying degrees of political relationship
to the European powers — France, the United
Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, and Belgium. Some

' This article Is based on an address made before the
Foreign Policy Association at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma,
on May 8, 1950, the text of which is contained in Depart-
ment of State press release 469.

June 19, 1950

of these units form part of the international trus-
teeship system established under United Nations
auspices. Some are classed as colonies; others, as
protectorates; some, such as French Equatorial
Africa, and French West Africa, are classed as
overseas territories. Because of the dependent
status of most of the African territories, the United
States conducts relations with them in large
measure through our diplomatic missions in the
European capitals. Certain aspects of our rela-
tions are also carried on through consular estab-
lishments in many of the territories, which
function primarily to safeguard American na-
tionals, American commercial interests, and treaty
rights in Africa. In the case of Egypt, Liberia,
Ethiopia, and the Union of South Africa, we
maintain direct relations through our Embassies
in those countries and through their representa-
tives in Wasliington.

That portion of Africa lying south of the Sa-
hara is itself almost twice the size of the United
States. This area — the home of the Negro peoples
of Africa — is one of varying climates, soils, and
resources. Its 100 million peoples, of diverse
ethnic oi'igins, speak more than 700 languages and
dialects, and the racial pattern is further diversi-
fied by significant numbers of European inhabi-
tants, — more than 4 million throughout the whole
of Africa, — almost half a million Asian peoples,
and peoples of mixed stock. Among the native
population, the literacy rate ranges generally be-
tween 5 percent and 20 percent. The economies
of these countries, which are primarily dependent
on agriculture, forestry, or mining, vary in their
stages of advancement, but all of them can be
classified as economically underdeveloped.

Political Stability

Before undertaking to outline the general prob-
lems of the area, it would be desirable to place it


in the context of the present world situation. In
the light of the many critical problems which con-
front us today and against the background of the
great struggle which is being waged between the
Communist nations and those of the fi-ee world,
this area occupies comparatively little space in the
American press or in the consciousness of the
American people. One reason for this is the fact
that it is a region in which we have few direct
responsibilities. Other nations, chiefly those with
whom we are associated under the North Atlantic
Treaty, are directly responsible for solution of the
day-to-day problems of Africa. Another reason
is the fact that, although tensions are increasing
in several parts of Africa, it is not a crisis area.
Emergency measures are not required to deal with
the problems of the area.

In these troubled times, it is gratifying to be
able to single out a region of 10 million square
miles in which no significant inroads have been
made by communism, and to be able to characterize
the area as relatively stable and secure. Yet, if
one carefully distinguishes between efforts in be-
half of normal political and economic aspirations
and agitation inspired by Communist elements,
that is basically the case. It is difficult to judge
whether the failure of communism to make prog-
ress is due to resistance or disinterest on the part
of the African peoples, to the results of construc-
tive efforts by the governments concerned or their
effective vigilance toward Communist propaganda
and agitation, or whether the Cominform has been
so occupied elsewhere that it has not yet devoted
its maximum efforts to the penetration and sub-
version of the African continent. But, no matter
what the reason, if this is one area in the world,
where — in the broadest sense — no major crisis ex-
ists, then it is imperative that advantage be taken
of the absence of pressure to plan against the time
when such pressure may be applied.

Advantage must be taken of this period of grace
to further the development within Africa of
healthy political, economic, and social institutions,
to create an understanding on the part of the
Africans of the forces of communism which are
disturbing the peace and security of hundreds of
millions of peoples elsewhere in the world, and to
inspire a determination to resist these forces.
Advantage must be taken of the time at our dis-
posal to remedy, through foresighted and con-
structive action, conditions which could otherwise
make the Africans receptive to the baleful attrac-
tions of communism and thus nullify the peaceful
and progressive advancement of its peoples. And,
even though we do not have direct responsibilities
in the case of much of Africa, we Americans can-
not neglect Africa simply because it is quiescent
in the present world crisis. We must play, in co-
operation with others, the part which our position
in the world demands that we play.

History of Humanitarian Interests

In assessing American attitudes which affect
present and future United States policy toward
Africa, it is important to emphasize first, that there
is no comparably large area of the world of which
the American people are so uninformed. A few
Americans will have heard of Timbuctoo and the
"Great Gray Green Greasy Limpopo River" ; and
others will have gone on hunting expeditions to
Africa or read about those who did; American
missionaries have traveled widely in the area.
But the limited volume of i^ress and radio com-
ment and the almost complete lack of popular
opinion polls on Africa, attest to a remarkable lack
of public interest in African developments.
Moreover, although we have a few outstanding
scholars and professors in various fields of African
studies, there is no comprehensive program of
African area studies in any American university.
The continent is almost never mentioned in resolu-
tions of private organizations, with the exception
of Negro associations. There is no journal in
America devoted to Africa.

Thus, it would seem essential that efforts be
made, both by our Government and by American
private interests, teaching institutions, and foun-
dations, to inform American opinion on the im-
plications for us of the international aspects of
Africa's changing relationships so that it can aid
in the formulation and support of American policy
regarding them. In these efforts, private organi-
zations can give an important service.

But, despite our relative lack of knowledge of
Africa, there are, nevertheless, certain basic atti-
tudes on the part of the American people which
have affected and will continue to affect formula-
tion of our African interests and policies. One
of these attitudes is certainly the general humani-
tarian interest of the American people in assisting
underprivileged peoples everywhere to raise their
living and educational standards. Another is our
gi'eat faith in the application of technology as a
means of achieving basic progress. Both of these
attitudes have recently found official expression in
the formulation of the President's Point 4 Pro-
gram, which I'aises to the level of a national policy
the traditional efforts of the American people to
share their benefits and skills with less fortunate

Another basic attitude in the United States is
the general backgi'ound of sympathy toward as-
pirations for self-government and independence,
although with the keen appreciation in responsible
circles that the rate of progress toward the realiza-
tion of these aspirations will vary widely in dif-
ferent parts of the world. Finally, despite our
humanitarian interests and our desire to be of
assistance to underprivileged peoples, the present
scope of our world commitments is creating a
growing desire on the part of the American people


Department of State Bulletin

to assume as few additional world responsibilities
as possible.

African Attitudes

A seooiul factor affectinp: formulation of Ameri-
can policy is the attitude of (he African peoples
toward tlie United States. Tliis attitude, like our
own, is not clear-cut. In tiie first place, it, too, is
based on inadequate knowledge of us, as well as
a considerable dejrree of ajiathy or ijjiiorance con-
cerning: Aniericiin foreigi^n policy in general. The
Africans are, of course, deeply interested in our
policy toward dependent areas, which has gained
for us a considerable reservoir of good will. Tliis
is offset to some extent, however, by a natural
suspicion on their part. Racial discrnnination in
the United States has produced unfortunate reac-
tions on the part of many educated Africans. In
addition, our ECA program is an important object
of suspicion, since there is some tendency to regard
this program, as it applies to the overseas terri-
tories of the European powere, as a device to
strengthen or perpetuate the hold of the European
powers over tlie African teii'itories.

Europe and Africa

Third, an important factor affecting the nature
and direction of our African policy is the attitude
of the European powers themselves toward us,
which is at the same time friendly, critical, and
suspicious. By virtue of the European Recovery
Program and the Mutual Defense Assistance Pro-
gram, the Western European powers, which are
also the leading metropolitan powers in Africa,
have a closer and more intimate relation with us
than at any time in history. This is a reciprocal
relation for defense and for economic recovery
which none of these powers wishes to disturb.
Moreover, with specific relation to Africa, they
welcome ECA assistance which enables them to
build mutually advantageous economic relations
with their African dependencies.

On the other hand, these powers are fearful of
what they regard as an apparent American tend-
ency to give indiscriminate and uncritical support
to movements toward self-government or inde-
pendence without adequate consideration of the
experience and resources of the peoples concerned.
The administering powers are fearful lest too
much encouragement to peQples who are politi-
call}' immature and whose economies are still
primitive, will result in political and economic
chaos. Such a development, they believe, would
be of grave disservice to the peoples for whose
welfare they are responsil>le and would give rise
to a situation which would play directly into the
hands of the Communists. The European powers
are convinced that the rate of political advance-
ment for their dependent peoples must be care-
fully geared to the tempo oi progress in economic,
social, and educational institutions. They feel

June 19, 1950

890363—50 3

that (hey understand the situation better than we,
and (liey are, in many cases, proud of the progress
which has been made.

Role of United Nations

Finally, we nnist be guided by our participation
in (he Uni(e(l Na(ions and our connnitments under
its Charter affecting our interests in Africa. The
United Nations, in establishing its system for
the administration of (rust territories, which
is an improved version of the old League of
Nations mandate system, set forth certain obliga-
tions under which the administering powers un-
dertake generally to promote the political,
economic, social, and educational advancement of
the peoples concerned, and their progressive devel-
opment toward self-government or independence
as may be appropriate to the particular circum-
stances of each territory and its peoples. In addi-
tion, chapter XI of the Charter of the United
Nations gives expression to the interest of the
world community in the welfare and development
of the vast numbers of non-self-governing peoples
who do not live in trust territories.

Within the United Nations, sharp differences of
opinion have developed between the noncolonial
powers and the administering powers with regard
to the meaning of these provisions of the Charter
and the proper scope of United Nations activities
in relation to colonial areas. The noncolonial
powers, in general, are seeking to extend the activi-
ties of the United Nations, while the metropolitan
powers maintain a more conservative position. We
stand in a very special relation to this struggle.
We are ourselves an administering power, by vir-
tue of our responsibility for one trust territoi-y —
the Pacific islands formerly under Japanese man-
date — and we transmit to the United Nations
information on six non-self-governing territories
which are not under trusteeship. At the same time,
it has been our traditional policy, frequently ex-
pressed and actively implemented, to assist as we
are able in the economic, social, and educational
advancement of dependent peoples along the road
to eventual self-government or independence. We
realize, however, that the evolution of dependent
peoples toward political maturity must of neces-
sity be an orderly process if it is to succeed.

Long-Range Interests

We must keep in mind the fact that we are not
in position to exercise direct responsibility with
respect to Africa. We have no desire to assume
the responsibilities borne by other powers and,
indeed, our principles, our existing commitments,
and our lack of experience all militate against our
assumption of such obligations. Against this
background, and in terms of the long-range inter-
ests of the United States in the establishment of
a stable world order and in the well-being of the


African peoples, what are tlie objectives of Ameri-
can j)olicy?

First, it is one of our major objectives to see that
tlie peoples of Africa, in their own interests, ad-
vance in the rijjht direction and in accordance with
the principles of the United Nations Charter. We
favor the prog-ressive development of the depend-
ent jjeoples of Africa toward the eoal of self-gov-
ernment or, where conditions are suitable, toward
independence. The attainment of this objective,
in which we can play only a cooperative role with
the administering powers, imposes upon all con-
cerned a heavy burden of self-discipline and the
need to undertake voluntary long-term planning
of the highest order.

A second major objective, which arises out of
our relations both with the metropolitan powers
and with the peoples of Africa, is our desire to
assure the development of nnitually advantageous
economic relations between them, in the interests
of contributing to restoration of a sound European
economy and in the interests of furthering the
aspirations of the African peoples. On the one
hand, the contribution of Africa to the economy
of Europe is a significant one. Its importance can
he gauged by tlie fact that the volume of Africa's
exports to Western Europe in 1948 totaled about
2.5 billion dollars, or approximately half as much
as the United States itself exported to Europe.
Thus, from the ]5oint of view of narrowing the
trade gap in Western Europe, a relatively small
increase in Africa's production will go far toward
improving the present dollar deficit position of the
Western European countries. On the other hand,
the problem is to expand production in those ma-
terials in which Europe and the Western Hemi-
sphere are deficient in such a way as to promote the
betterment of the African peoples.

Third, the United States wishes to preserve its
rights of equal economic treatment in the terri-
tories of Africa and to participate itself, both
commercially and financially, in the development
of this great continent along with other nations
of the world. Last year we exported to Africa
products to a value of 616 million dollars, and
imported products worth about -V^S million dol-
lars. American investments in the continent are
estimated to be at least 250 million dollars, and
t here is a growing interest in Africa among Ameri-
can investors. The import of African vegetal^le
pr'oducts is closely related to our everyday needs,
in such fundamental connnodities as soap, twine,
chocolafe, and spices. In addition, we must con-
tinue to have access to Africa's vital reservoir of
minerals which are critical stockpile items in the
United States — manganese, chrome ore, rubber,
industrial diamonds essential to our machine tool
industry, asbestos, and many other important

Finally, it is a major objective of United States
|iolicy to assist in |)id\i(ling an environment in

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 22, Apr- Jun 1950) → online text (page 97 of 116)