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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • August 22, 1977

    World Conference for Action Against Apartheid, Lagos, 22-26 August 1977, Supplement to Brief No. A7 (Nuclear Questions): Soviet Allegations About South African Nuclear Weapons Development

    Memorandum on UK position at Lagos Conference on Apartheid about Soviet allegations of South African nuclear weapons development.

  • August 24, 1977

    Extract from Speech by the South African Prime Minister at Congress of the National Party of Cape Province

    Extract from a speech during which South African Prime Minister Vorster discusses Soviet allegations that South Africa has developed a nuclear bomb.

  • September, 1977

    Draft Letter to B. Cardledge on Conversation with US Deputy Undersecretary of State Joseph Nye on South African Nuclear Intentions

    Nye stated that at present the United States preferred to "concentrate on pressing South Africa to adhere to the NPT rather than continuing to enquire about the nature of the Kalahari facility." The State Department assessment was that while South Africa was capable of building a bomb at short notice, they did not actually plan to test one at this time.

  • September 08, 1977

    Letter from J.S. Wall to Bryan Cartledge, 'South African Nuclear Intentions'

    J.S. Wall of the UK Foreign and Commonweath Office reports on a conversation with David Aaron of the US National Security Council on concerns about South Africa's possible nuclear testing facility in the Kalahari desert.

  • September 13, 1977

    Memorandum from C.L.G. Mallaby of the UK Arms Control and Disarmament Department, 'South Africa and the Non-Proliferation Treat'

    Mallaby outlines the UK position on South African accession to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

  • September 21, 1977

    Letter from C.L.G. Mallaby of the UK Arms Control and Disarmament Department to H.M.S. Reid, 'South African Nuclear Intentions: the Kalahari Facility'

    Mallaby reports on a conversation at the Nuclear Suppliers Meeting with the US Deputy Under-Secretary for Security Assistance, Nye, on whether the US would raise the issue of South Africa's Kalahari nuclear testing facility. The US assumption was that the South Africans intended to "be on the brink of having a nuclear weapons capability" in order to "moderate Western diplomatic pressure on her about racial and other issues."

  • September 22, 1977

    Letter from H.M.S. Reid to Mr. Mallaby, 'South African Nuclear Intentions: the Kalahari Facility'

    In response to Mallaby's letter, Reid dismisses the American explanation for the South African Kalahari nuclear testing facility. He believes that the South Africans "feel increasingly threatened and foresee a possible need to use nuclear weapons in their own defence if it should come to that."

  • September 29, 1977

    Telegram from the UK Embassy in Vienna to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on South African Statement to the IAEA General Conference

    The UK Embassy in Vienna reports on the South African statement to the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference denying Soviet accusations that the country was developing nuclear weapons.

  • October 06, 1977

    Telegram from H.M.S. Reid to UK Embassy in Pretoria with Instructions for Meeting with South African Secretary for Foreign Affairs Brand Fourie

    H.M.S. Reid sends instructions to the UK Embassy in Pretoria in preparation for a meeting with South African Secretary for Foreign Affairs Brand Fourie. Reid informs them that the Prime Minister wishes to send his concerns about the possibility of South Africa exploding a nuclear device.

  • October 14, 1977

    Letter from C.L.G. Mallaby to Mr. Moberly, 'South Africa’s Nuclear Intentions: Kalahari Facility'

    Mallaby summaries actions taken in response to accusations that South Africa is preparing to test a nuclear device.

  • October 17, 1977

    Letter from H.M.S. Reid to C.L.G. Mallaby, 'South African Nuclear Intentions'

    Reid of the UK's Central and Southern African Department describes a recent visit to Pretoria, South Africa, during which he heard supposedly non-nuclear explosions taking place at the Kalahari Desert facility.

  • October 24, 1977

    Letter from C.L.G. Mallaby to Mr. Hervey, 'South African Nuclear Intentions.

    Mallaby addresses Sir David Scott's 6 October letter concerning the possible South African nuclear test site in the Kalahari desert.

  • October 25, 1977

    Telegram from UK Embassy in Pretoria to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, 'South Africa's Nuclear Intentions'

    UK Embassy in Pretoria reports on South African President Vorster’s remarks on nuclear matters to ABC television.

  • October 28, 1977

    Draft letter from H.M.S. Reid, 'South African Test Explosions'

    H.M.S. Reid writes a draft letter to South African concerning the possibility that South African would perform non-nuclear test explosions at the site in the Kalahari Desert.

  • October 31, 1977

    Restricted Teleletter from J.E. Holmes, UK Embassy in Moscow, to R.B. Bone, 'South African Nuclear Intentions'

    J .E. Holmes, at the UK Embassy in Moscow, reports on Soviet news coverage of the South African nuclear controversy.

  • January 16, 1978

    British Foreign Office, 'Soviet Role in the Horn of Africa'

    Drawing upon British concerns with respect to their possible reaction to Moscow’s support for Ethiopia against Somalia’s aggression, the Foreign Office Planning Staff looks into the wider international implications of the conflict in the Horn.

  • May 19, 1979

    Letter from Israeli PM Menachem Begin to British PM Margaret Thatcher on Pakistan’s Nuclear Program

    Letter from Begin forwarding a memorandum to Thatcher on activities of the Pakistani government to build a nuclear weapon.

  • May 22, 1979

    Memorandum for Margaret Thatcher in Response to a Letter from Menachem Begin

    Memorandum with a briefing on both the Pakistani and Israeli nuclear positions and suggestions for a response to the letter from Menachem Begin.

  • August 20, 1979

    Telegram from UK Ambassador to South Africa Sir David Scott Conveying Text of Letter to South African Defence Minister PW Botha

    UK Ambassador to South Africa Sir David Scott conveys the text of a letter he sent to South African Defense Minister P. W. Botha about UK concern that South Africa is developing a nuclear weapon.