Resolution on the War. Adopted by the National Executive Com­mittees of the AAC and the ANC, July 7,1940

The Executive Committees of the All African Convention and the African National Congress in joint meeting held at Bloemfontein on the 7th July, 1940, gave their considered opinion and expressed concern at the developments that have taken place in the war which is now raging in Europe. The Executive expresses loyal sympathy with the British Commonwealth of Nations in the difficult task that has been thrust upon it as a result of recent developments. The Executive notes with deepest concern that the struggle has now entered Africa and that African soldiers are being employed by some of the combatants.

The Joint Committees desire to place on record their conviction that the time has arrived when the Union Government and Parliament should consider the expediency of admitting the Africans of this country into full citizenship in the Union with all the rights and duties appertaining to that citizenship.

With this end in view the Joint Committees consider that the territorial integrity of the Union of South Africa can only be effectively defended if all sections of the population were included in the defence system of the country on equal terms, and that those Who are, and may be eligible for service should receive full military training in all its aspects, and be fully armed. Further, that those who are being recruited for whatever military service should be placed under regular conditions of such service involving adequate support for their dependents during and after the war. In this regard we would urge the authorities to enlist the services and co-operation of African leaders in addition to those of Chiefs and Headmen.

With regard to subversive propaganda the Joint Committees are convinced that the removal of grievances such as Pass Laws, Low Wage Levels, Industrial Colour Bars, the refusal of trading rights to Africans, and so forth, will go a long way to counteract mischievous doctrines that are being disseminated among Africans.

Further, the Joint Committees respectfully urge the Government to take immediate and adequate steps for the guidance, organisation, discipline, and protection of the people against any emergency that might arise out of, and as a result of the present conflict.

[Note: This resolution was re-affirmed by the ANC National Conference of December 15-17, 1940. See Document 20.]