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December 07, 1984
Bishop Tutu of S. Africa came in. I’m sure he is sincere in his belief that we should turn our back on S.A. and take actions such as sanctions to bring about a change in race relations. He is naïve. We’ve made considerable progress with quiet diplomacy. There are S. Africans who want an end to Apartheid & I think they understand what we are doing. American owned firms in S.A. treat their emp’s. as they would in Am. This has meant a tremendous improvement for thousands & thousands of S.A. Blacks. There have been other improvements but there is still a long way to go. The Bishop seems unaware, even though he himself is Black, that part of the problem is tribal not racial. If apartheid ended now there still would be civil strife between the Black tribes.
We’re facing a closer to home problem which has to do with the upcoming talks with the Soviets re arms reductions. We’re convinced they want above all to negotiate away our right to seek a defensive weapon against ballistic missiles. They fear our technology. I believe such a defense could render nuclear weapons obsolete & thus we could rid the world of that threat. Question is will they use that to break off the talks & blame us?
An interesting meeting in the Roosevelt room. Our 5 Columbia astronauts rcvd. the Lloyds of London Silver Medal for rescuing the 2 non-working space machines insured by Lloyds—saved them about $60 mil. Lloyds allowed me to make the presentation—1st Pres. ever to do so. George S. & I had our regular meeting and then it was off to Camp D.—with our new puppy.