Browsing Doctoral Degrees (History) by Subject "Ambassadors -- South Africa -- Biography"
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- ItemDr. A.L. Geyer as Suid-Afrika se hoë kommissaris in die Verenigde Koninkryk (1950-1954)(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2001-12) Heiberg, Jacobus Petrus; Kapp, P. H.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences. Dept. of History.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Dr. A.L. Geyer's appointment in June 1950 as the Union's new High Commissioner to London was largely due to the political objectives of the then government. He was confronted by a number of related challenges, i.e. the furthering of the existing multifaceted South-African-British relations, the promotion of the apartheid policy and convincing the Union's critics as to the merits of the above policy. Geyer, a loyal Afrikaner and staunch republican, experienced soon after arrival that the policy of apartheid and the Union Government's insistence on the transfer of the High Commission territories were placing the existing diplomatic relations under considerable strain. To Geyer's frustration the Union Government failed to realise that the application of the apartheid policy 'was affecting South Africa's foreign relations detrimentally. The effect of the Union's domestic policies was therefore prohibiting any possibility of the transfer of the British-controlled neighbouring territories. Geyer was thus faced with maintaining a delicate balance between white-centred aspirations in South Africa, championing South Africa's interests overseas and his own evolving perspective that the application of the apartheid policy was not going to be acceptable to the outside world. Geyer was also well aware that the Cold War would contribute substantially to the constitutional liberation of the former British colonies in Africa, which in turn would affect the composition of the Commonwealth and South Africa's future membership. He therefore took Union politicians to task for actions that were geared to satisfy short-term party-political expectations, without taking into account both the national and international ramifications of such actions. Geyer did not differ fundamentally with the principles and objectives of apartheid; however, he was no stereotyped Afrikaner who simply supported apartheid without any questioning. In his public appearances he emphasised the historical, cultural and sociopolitical motivation for apartheid, the practical embodiment of the policy and the rights and role of the whites in South Africa. He portrayed apartheid as a political model that envisages equal, but separate development for all races that would ensure the peaceful co- existence of a multi-racial community. Geyer continuously emphasised that only visible and positive results emanating from the application of apartheid, would guarantee acceptance of the policy and also secure the future of the white population in South Africa. Geyer was therefore very critical of the government's inability to give meaningful content to the policy of apartheid. Geyer's biggest personal disappointment was the inability of his mentor and friend, Dr. D.F. Malan, to rise above the role of the party politician in becoming a competent Minister of Foreign Affairs and as Prime Minister, a statesman of international stature.